In the Montessori elementary classroom, the children are given opportunities to learn to set their own goals, budget their own time, and appraise their own results.
Cosmic Education was the way in which Dr. Montessori exposed the older child to an imaginative and reasoning exploration of the universe and its components, and introduced him to his place and responsibility in society. Through what's known in the elementary Montessori terminology as the ﬁve Great Lessons, the doors are opened to the drama of the universe. First, its coming into being; second, its furnishing with plant and animals; then third, the appearance of human beings. With the coming of the human being, we move on to the other two great lessons. These two great lessons draw the attention of the child to the two great achievements of people, the ability to communicate with written language and the invention of a numerical system. History, as the story of the human being and our achievements, is at the center of Cosmic Education. Cosmic Education is not a scheme or a method of education, divided into subjects of a curriculum with preset time limits for study. It is the sowing of seeds to ignite the child's interest in the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life.
It is worth noting that while the division of the world into these separate “subjects” is perhaps a convenient way to write about our work at school, it is not the way children experience it. We emphasize the interconnectedness of the many things we study. For example: a child’s arithmetic problems will often deal with real questions arising in his own study of, say, history of geography, rather than some fairly irrelevant problem drawn from a text.