Erica Moretti, assistant professor in Modern Languages and Cultures, published The Best Weapon for Peace, her first book, in July.
The tome examines the life of Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the educator and lifelong pacifist best known for the schooling technique that bears her name.
Scholars typically think of Montessori’s pacifism as secondary to her educational activism. Moretti uses newly discovered primary sources to challenge that view, painting a portrait of a pacifist who saw the classroom as a place to reform society.
As Moretti demonstrates, Montessori’s educational theories were instrumental in the broader movement of internationalism and humanitarianism. While her push to create the White Cross, a humanitarian organization for children affected by war, ultimately failed, but her educational theories came to define children’s rights and were ultimately adopted by major international organizations, including the United Nations.