Re-Imagining Montessori's Great Lessons

Re-Imagining Montessori's Great Lessons in the Light of Thomas Berry


October 16, 2016

Part I

Montessori's First Three Great Lessons:

The Universe Story, The Coming of Life on Earth, and Early Humans


October 30, 2016

Part II

Montessori's Last Two Great Lessons:

A Cosmic Story of Writing and Literature and A Cosmic Story of Math


Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Place: Treehouse, Timberlake Earth Sanctuary

1501 Rock Creek Dairy Road

Whitsett, NC 27377

Cost: $60 per program (handouts included)


The October 13 program is now full and registration for it has closed.

The October 30 program is now full and registration for it has closed.

Approved by the American Montessori Society for

3 hours of Continuing Professional Development

for each program


Please click here for an in-depth introduction to this program in the Spring 2016 issue of Chrysalis.


Thomas Berry was somewhat amazed when he discovered the work of Maria Montessori, particularly her views on cosmic education. He is said to have called his colleague, mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme, on the phone with great enthusiasm when he first discovered her work.


Montessori developed her thoughts on cosmic education while interned in Kodaikanal, India, during World War II. It was there, in the context of the natural world and Eastern wisdom traditions, that she had time to reflect and form her recognitions about the essential unities of humanity, life and universe.


Montessori, like Thomas Berry, presented a picture of a universe unfolding in time. She expanded the teaching of history to include the history of the universe and set human history within this great cosmic story. She understood that the question, “Who am I?” can only be meaningfully answered in terms of the child’s “cosmic task,” or sense of purpose within the larger whole.


In the Spring of 2005, The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World invited Montessori educators from throughout the state of North Carolina to an all-day retreat to explore the relationship between the vision of Thomas Berry and Maria Montessori’s cosmic education. Over the past eleven years, we have worked with over 14 Montessori schools to deepen this natural connection.


Now, this interweaving reaches a new fulfillment in the work of Montessori educators Andrea Reed and Heather Koch, “Re-imagining Montessori’s Great Lessons in the Light of Thomas Berry.” Andrea and Heather first encountered the work of the Center at a Montessori conference in the Fall of 2013. Since then, within the context of the Center’s programs for educators, they have immersed themselves in Thomas Berry’s vision and have brought new language to a deepening of Montessori’s Great Lessons.


Please join us for this 2-part series with Andrea and Heather as they bring Montessori’s Cosmic Education to new life.


Heather Koch, originally from Madison, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio State University, is a wife and mother of four sons. She is a seventeen-year teacher at Greenville Montessori School in North Carolina where she works with nine to twelve year olds. Her work with the Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World reflects a desire to greater understand, observe and share the beauty of the universe with her students.


Andrea Reed is the lower-elementary teacher at Greenville Montessori School. She is AMS-credentialed (Elementary I and II) and has taught both lower- and upper-elementary for over 10 years. Before teaching in Montessori classrooms, she completed a graduate degree at the University of New Mexico with an emphasis in child development and taught psychology at the university level. She and her husband enjoy time in nature, which they attribute to childhoods spent roaming the outdoors.

“We shall all walk together on this path of life,

for all things are part of the universe,

and we are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”


~ Maria Montessori

To Educate the Human Potential