Meet Alumna student Lauren Peirce

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Lauren-Peirce-Trento-ItalyLauren is an Analyst with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (Aboriginal Affairs). She holds a Master of Arts degree in Public and International Affairs (Co-operative Education) from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Social Science with Honours degree in Criminology from the same institution.

She is also a firm believer in Montessori pedagogy:

 “I believe a Montessori education develops and fosters breadth of learning and experience, while instilling principles of compassion, justice, independence, self-direction and respect for all living things. A Montessori education places equal value on all sorts of different types of knowledge from math, to arts, to geography, to languages, to physical education. I think this type of education philosophy supports children’s need to question their surroundings and helps them build expansive worldviews, underpinned with values of co-operation and compassion.

I am certainly a product of this method of education! I am an independent, self-described “Jill of All Trades”, taking an interest in many different areas of life and building my proficiency in those areas over time. I have a love of travel, other cultures and foreign languages and believe in the equality of humans in different walks of life, from all over the world. I live my life based on Montessori principles of compassion, equality and respect for living things. I have dedicated much of my personal and professional work thus far to social issues and social justice causes, which hi-light our shared humanity e.g. immigration and integration, Aboriginal Affairs, public service and volunteerism.”

Lauren shares some of her most vivid memories of time spent at OMS Montessori:

“I have many, many fond memories of my time at OMS – here is a small sampling.

I can remember a project I completed on Tanzania for an “African country fair” where we coloured maps, made dioramas and served traditional food. I can still recall that “jambo” means “hi” in Swahili!

Almost all the country capitals I know now I learned in elementary school through an exercise done with a map on a floor mat. We matched up capitals to their countries on the map. The easiest ones were always Paris, Rome, London and Athens.

One of the best ways to earn your peers’ esteem was to roll out a huge hundred chain on a series of maps all through the hall and “count” and transcribe all the beads from the chains. You would get extra respect for completing all the chains in the same day!

I wrote long stories with the moveable alphabet and transcribed them onto those small papers with lines for the story and space for the picture. There seemed to be an annual story about what we had done on our summer vacation and my most memorable (and lengthy) story was about us getting lost on a family road trip to Maine.

We played outside in every season – in the spring we played with parachutes, hung from the monkey bars, or skipped in complex double-Dutch formation. In the fall we played tug-of-war and looked forward to the annual haunted house at the Harvest Feast, and in the winter we built epic snow forts, complete with bridges and furniture or skated on the outdoor rink.

Probably my earliest memory is of naptime in the Casa class – I didn’t want to sleep so I was given a little ball of pink wax to play with quietly on my mat.”