Peace education is something that is unique to Montessori schools. In addition to teaching our children how to become academically smart, we work on teaching them to become socially smart. If we want to have a peaceful society, we have to start with its youngest members.
Peace education in the Montessori classroom isn't some kind of funky hippie idea, as many people mistakenly believe. We teach children how to be respectful to each other and to both the indoor and outdoor environments. This is a key part of functioning in daily life. They use the peace table to practice communication skills. They are responsible for caring for their environment as a way of learning how they are connected to it and how they can impact it.
Peace education includes learning about different cultures around the world. To have a better understanding of your fellow man, you need to understand from where he comes. Education arms you with knowledge. With knowledge you get understanding. With understanding comes peace.
Peace education also includes learning how to control your self. Children learn how to relax and to be confident in who they are. They learn to be independent. Those who lash out at others are rarely at peace with themselves, so they take it out on everyone else. Children learn how to recognize their own emotions and how to properly deal with them. When they can handle their own emotions, they can empathize and sympathize with others. Again, they can understand others and with understanding comes peace.
To some people, this sounds ridiculous at such a young age. The sooner you start teaching the concept, though, the sooner the child starts to internalize it and to instinctively use it in his every day life.
Here are some related articles I have written in the past:
Teaching Conflict Resolution
Calming Movement Activities for Children
Peaceful Education Activities for Home
Peaceful Education At Home: Activities for Families in Nature
How to Use a Peace Table at Home