The number of different objects in the world is infinite, while the qualities they possess are limited. These qualities are therefore like the letters of the alphabet which can make up an indefinite number of words. If we present the children with objects exhibiting each of these qualities separately, this is like giving them an alphabet for their explorations, a key to the doors of knowledge. Anyone who has beheld not only the qualities of things classified in an orderly way, but also the gradations of each, is able to read everything that their environment and the world of Nature contains.

Maria Montessori

Introduction to Culture

Culture is the coming together of humans and their environment where humans establish a positive contact with the environment through collaboration and understanding of the environment. The environment consists of the whole environment; the physical environment made up of the surroundings, people, animals, etc. and the spiritual environment made up of the relationships and interactions between people. Thus, culture contains the geographic regions, the social practices, traditions, beliefs and norms, the arts and sciences, etc., in other words, the entirety of the human environment. Culture is the way humans relate to their environment; an attempt by humans to understand the environment by formulating abstract principles out of natural phenomenon. Culture includes the social practices and norms of different groups of people thereby offering different identities to different groups of people. It comes out of the collective human intelligence. It encompasses every form of the arts and sciences.

The child is the creator and carry-forward of culture. As culture is so ingrained in the lives of human beings, the child cannot escape its influence in his/her life as he/she comes into contact with the environment. The child is offered culture to adapt to the environment and to optimise his/her self-development.

Culture activities already include all the activities in the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Numeracy; they also encompass activities in the areas of Botany, Geography, Zoology, Music and Art. These activities introduce the child to his/her world.