The ability to build meaningful relationships that strengthen our world community will increasingly depend on our awareness, understanding and acceptance of the divergent cultures around us.
Montessori Bali’s commitment to cultural awareness is rooted in its open admissions policy, which has lead, naturally, to multi-cultural classrooms filled with children with diverse experiences from around the world. To reveal the many layers of culture and deepen the children’s understanding of the vibrant world around them, elements of Indonesian and Balinese culture and history are woven into the classroom curriculum. As with most Montessori areas, culture related studies are interdisciplinary and highlight the interrelationships that exist between different subject areas. In the preschool, children make beautiful “canang sari“ offerings as table decorations as a means to develop fine motor skills, art appreciation and a connection to a community ritual that is practiced daily on the island of Bali. They also created their own Penjors, the long bamboo poles decorated with coconut leaves that are erected during Galungan time.
While English is the language used for all communication within Montessori Bali, students receive Indonesian language lessons starting at the preschool level to support their integration with their surrounding community. As children progress, elements of culture become a means of connecting with more advanced fields of study. A field trip to a batik factory becomes a platform for discussions about chemistry or other cultures since Indonesian batik is included on the list of “Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” from around the world.
Whether it is playing a traditional Angklung instrument, flying kites on the beach or studying botany in the garden, cultural elements continue to enrich the curriculum at Montessori Bali.