Montessori teacher-training manual “Montessori Workshop”.

In 2007, the German Peter-Hesse-Foundation has published two teacher-training manuals, written by Carol Guy-James Barratt: in French “Atelier Montessori” (please see French section of our homepage) and in English “Montessori Workshop” (pdf 4-page flyer) – ISBN 978-3-9811650-1-2.
The French version was written specially (but not only) for use in our Montessori-teacher-training in Haiti. Besides being used in future Montessori projects for deprived children in French and English speaking countries in the world, the books are being sold for € 59,- each by “Nienhuis Montessori, Industriepark 14, NL-7021 BL Zelhem, The Netherlands”. E-mail: ,

In Haiti I followed a wake-up call for change in 1981.
There I learned to “heal-solve” problems.
This resulted in my first book in English:

From Vision to action.
From Haiti to ONE world in diversity.”

380 pages, 125 color photos, 30 drawings,
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-9811650-2-9, € 29

is on stock in the USA and available from
Babbitt’s Books: 119 E. Beaufort Street, Normal, IL, 61761, USA
at US $ 39,- plus freight in the USA $ 4 (or $ 6,50 priority)
Tel.: 1-309-454-7393 and (only in the USA): 1-888-875-3773,

Distribution through Amazon in the USA and in GB is in preparation

Why this book?
Who might enjoy reading, who might benefit from reading this book?

Those, who seek a fulfilled, happy life which makes some deeper sense for themselves and for our world.
This book tells the story of a learning process to solve problems, to make visions work.
It is also the story of a search for meaning in life. Emotional experiences, intuition and initially unnoticed higher guidance propelled the learning process.
It became successful – supported by an awakening consciousness for our “ONE world in diversity” and some mystical experience along the path.
The book addresses readers who, like me, are constructively angry and dissatisfied with our world sliding out of balance, readers who want to be engaged in a sustainable integral development of humanity, who especially want to give children a chance through good early care and education.
Peter Hesse

Essentials from VISION WORKS
From vision to action. From Haiti to ONE world in diversity.
Wake-up calls for change. ISBN 978-3-9811650-2-9 – by Peter Hesse

The first chapters of VISION WORKS deal with my path to first awake my conscience and to start learning what really helps healing problems.
After waking up to the need of contributing to some healing process, I made mistakes because I believed that I knew what solves problems, what heals. I first needed to listen humbly.

This resulted in following the wish of Haitian villagers to “do something” for the development of their children, to help providing a starting chance in life for deprived children.
A first village pre-school led to the introduction of a trainable method for early childhood development, the Montessori method – introduced by Carol Guy-James from Trinidad, who became my project partner after the creation of the Peter-Hesse-Foundation in 1983.

Over 800 Haitians have been trained to be Montessori pre-school teachers and 50 pre-schools were opened by “our” teachers with various Haitian partners since that time.

This led to deeper learning and to a guiding vision of priority for basic education in ONE world in diversity:

Conscious that ALL is interconnected through the inner nucleus of all that exists through an all encompassing divine SPIRIT, we human beings have the freedom and face a challenge to co-create a balance which
protects and preserves the grown and further developing base of all that exists: nature;
enables peaceful loving TOGETHERNESS of people, capable to lead a life in dignity in social structures, which are defined by the “golden rule”;
allows all people to benefit from the fruits of research and creative productivity – according to their engagements and efforts – in an open, fair and efficient way.

This requires a global market economy which however must be effectively limited by the correcting factors 1 and 2 – therefore a global “Eco-social Market-Economy”.

Preconditions for the freedom to co-create a balance between those 3 factors are a relevant global consciousness and the possibility to obtain/learn the capabilities which are needed to actively take part in the whole system. Such capabilities grow under the influence of loving parents and of conscious early childhood development, followed by good basic education which recognises and promotes the human predisposition in its variety.

The opportunity to learn is a basic human right.
Creating opportunities for early and for life-long learning is a noble duty of global humanity – as well as creating publicly financed basic safety-nets for old age and illness.

This is “only” a vision – but needed for the survival of humanity.
As long as democratically agreed world-wide framework-conditions, which are needed for the individual development and the covering of risks, are not yet created and producing results – especially as long as there are no high quality early- and basic-education systems accessible for everyone – a synthesis of individual and collective solidarity for a dignified life of all human beings is needed – and is possible.

VISION WORKS convincingly argues for such change
and shows how political and administrative realities can be changed
on the basis of a realistic vision – followed by a loving managerial process.
VISION WORKS introduces such managerial structures to development realities.

VISION WORKS pleads for a “world in balance” with the help of a
global solidarity plan, a “Global Marshallplan”
and suggests guidelines for “heal-solving” solidarity-work.

The ongoing learning process since 1981 with people in need has produced some
conclusions for successful action, which can be summarised in
principles and guidelines for action.
Those guiding principles are equally valid on the micro-level, when working with people
and their direct representatives, on mezzo- and country-levels
as well as on a global level:

of all development-goals, objectives, plans and activities,
giving preference to the smallest possible unit,
of all, who are concerned for true integral development – and:
of the natural environment, the base of all existence and of our cultural heritage.

These principles are widely accepted and may sound even simplistic.
If they were truly and fully observed in reality, development efforts in our world would by now have been much more successful than reality shows.

There are additional guiding words, which can also be applied like principles,
but which should better be considered as methodical development goals, as action goals.

of those without power,
to initiate self-help structures – and most important:
of those people, who want to develop themselves.
(To apply OWNERSHIP to states only works in well functioning states.)

VISION WORKS shows how these guiding words can and should be applied to be successful in practical development work. VISION WORKS also deals with the underlying realities and suggests a feasible healing-path for some of our world’s basic problems.

One reality is evident, when learning happens “in the field” – but
some development politicians still have a problem in fully accepting this reality:

Nobody, nothing can BE developed.
All must develop from inside out, and
all development must be owned by those developing.

The political requirement for sustainable development,
“a staircase must be cleaned from top to bottom”,
is no contradiction to the above reality.

For humanity to survive in peace
we must first develop
a global (or even cosmic) consciousness
towards oneness of all in diversity
and then promote the
political creation of a legally binding,
fair and sustainable global order
for a world in balance
in the spirit of compassion and solidarity.

VISION WORKS draws personal conclusions acquired in practical field-work, while spending the Peter-Hesse-Foundation’s own limited resources to obtain the best possible results in human development in true partnership with those, who wish to develop themselves.

The hardcover book has 380 pages, contains 125 colour photos and 30 model-drawings.
It is published by the “Peter-Hesse-Stiftung”, Otto-Hahn-Str. 2, D-40699 Erkrath, Germany
on the 25th anniversary of the Peter-Hesse-Foundation on 7 December 2008.
It is being sold for € 29,- in Europe and for $ 39,- in the USA.

Here are some of Peter Hesse’s model-drawings, which are being used in VISION WORKS (in pdf).

Essentials from VISION WORKS in 4 pdf-pages

Content and forewords of the book can be viewed here:

Content of VISION WORKS:

  • I. On a musical path to a wake-up call in Haiti
    II. Stumbling on a learning path in and for Haiti
    III. Journey inward and the search for “truth”
    IV. Reaching for global change as the path widens
    V. Researching guidelines for our world to heal
    VI. From Haiti to Africa – and onward
    Annex: Work in Haiti, facts and figures

Foreword by André Roberfroid, President of AMI
(Association Montessori Internationale – AMI)

Another book on the meaning of life!
Another book on development!
Another book on education!
Most of us have read too many of these books, hoping to find, at last, some answers. And most of the time we ended frustrated and disillusioned.

This one is different. Yes it is related to development, to education and to the meaning of life, but it is not pretending to know the answers. It is telling the story of a humble, but determined quest for the questions. Peter Hesse is not a specialist in development or education; he does not claim to be a philosopher. Peter Hesse is a specialist in humanity!

The folly of the Nazi ideology, the horrors of war and the ultimate crime of the holocaust were the initial environment of Peter Hesse’s young age. The deep scars of this period have marked his family. Experience, in his early days, has shown him that human beings are capable of the worst. And yet Peter Hesse chooses to believe that humanity is on a path of progress, that the reality of the worst does not prevent the likeliness of the best. An extraordinary lesson of optimism and trust in the future.

With such a background, Peter Hesse could have become an enlightened visionary, dreaming of a golden age in the distant future… and writing books about it!

But he decided to make “Vision Works”. Rather than dreaming, Peter Hesse participated actively in the rebuilding of the society in post war Germany. As a successful businessman he learned to be pragmatic and concerned with results. The last fifty years in Germany demonstrate that human beings can rise from the worst and flourish again.

The Peter Hesse who just wrote this book was shaped by this process, a process made of intense learning, hard work, strict organization and respect for fellow humans. This accomplished man had earned the right to enjoy his life. And so he did. His taste for dance and music took him to the Caribbean, precisely in Haiti, were he was hit by a strong wake up call.

As he writes “the direct confrontation with this living misery was too much for the inner balance of a well-to-do European holiday-maker”. Just going back to continue to live in the comfort of wealthy Germany was simply not possible anymore. Something had to be done!

Many of us have experienced that kind of shock and the loud call for action that follows. Most will respond by giving some cash to a humanitarian agency and turn the page. Peter Hesse decided to get involved personally. As a businessman he wanted the action to be concrete, effective and profitable. But more importantly, and this is the key to understand this book, he wanted his action to be driven by people. All of us, in the development world, have claimed something similar. People’s participation is a common cliché. Often it consists of asking people ‘do you want my assistance?’ and the answer being naturally positive, we proceed doing what we had previously decided. Peter Hesse started differently. Recognizing that he had no practical knowledge in development matters, he thought, quite rightly, that the golden rule for an effective assistance was to let people decide for themselves. But the second and equally important rule was that the results must be checked and assessed and one should be prepared to change course if and when needed.

The story of Peter Hesse in Haiti becomes a fascinating recollection of a practical path towards human development in one of the most difficult and challenging environment of this world. The cycle of action is quite simple: listen to people, decide what to do, observe carefully, assess the result and correct your action. Easy to say, but challenging to implement. It requires an open mind, able to listen intensely, it demands a capacity to decide and act quickly, it necessitates a frequent presence in the field for close observation and above all it needs an endless patience and ability to recognize failures.

Peter Hesse tells the story in simple words. He offers an opportunity for the reader to travel with him the long journey, made of trials and errors, towards a progressive discovery of human development. It is a long, difficult and often frustrating journey. We discover with the author that development is not about more, but about better. While reading the stories, it becomes clear to us, like it did for him, that education is the primary and the ultimate key without which nothing will succeed.

After a variety of initial experiences in Haiti the book takes us to an even more fascinating exploration. Continuing his path of trials and errors, Peter Hesse unveils another simple truth: as much as development is about human beings, education is about children. The energy that drives development is within the people, and similarly the energy that drives education is within the children. The child is the center and the actor of the education process, the adult is the guide and the service provider. The child achieves the best learning performance at a very young age. An effective learning environment should therefore be made available to the child as early as 3 years. This fact is obvious to any honest observer, and yet this book shows again that the obvious is not easily accepted. The commonly accepted false wisdom is too often that education from 3 to 6 years of age is a luxury to be reserved for the social elite or for the rich countries. The experience reported in this book demonstrates that it is not the case. Early childhood education is not only feasible in poor environment, but is the most productive investment.

In the slums of Haiti, at the end of the 20th century, Peter Hesse came to a conclusion exactly similar to that of Maria Montessori in the poor suburbs of Rome at the beginning of the century. This remarkable encounter did not happen out of theoretical readings, but as a result of an honest man struggling with reality and searching for effective way to bring a lasting change in a desperate situation. After one hundred years of implementation, mostly in the affluent countries, the method created by Maria Montessori is coming back where it started: to serve the most underprivileged children.

As the President of the Association Montessori Internationale, I can only express my immense gratitude to Peter Hesse and to all his friends in Haiti, for giving us this marvelous example. As Maria Montessori said many times, ‘the child is the agent of change’. This book is a testimony to her vision.


Foreword by Prof. Dr. Winfried Pinger
(former Member of German Parliament, former CDU-spokesman for international development-politics. Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Peter-Hesse-Foundation.)

Peter Hesse is a pioneer and an example for all, who fight against extreme poverty and misery in the world. The reader of this book will meet the man Peter Hesse and his multiple activities. Many of those activities are in favour of those, who are relevant for our future: preschool-age children. The reader will also meet the politician Peter Hesse, the engaged campaigner for the renewal of international institutions and for better political framework conditions.

With his devoted long-term engagement for his Foundation’s Montessori-Preschool-Project in one of the most difficult countries of the world, Haiti, he has demonstrated what can be achieved by tenacious persistence and by permanently solving newly arising problems. His is an exemplary project, while too many projects – mainly those of the public development cooperation – have failed.

Development always boils down to human development. Peter Hesse knows this. Long before others he has learned from development mistakes of the past (including his own in Haiti). In many developing countries, development is not assured because of corrupt bureaucracies. The state must provide improved framework conditions and essential basic services – that is all he can do. The “trickle-down” effect, which is still programmed in the heads of many development-politicians, has not happened. That concept has failed. Real development happens through people themselves. Therefore, development cannot be ordered from above or through regimentation. Development must come from below – from the people.

The poorest of the poor are capable of incredible achievements. All we have to do is to help them to improve their living conditions themselves. We must trust people. Peter Hesse shares this view with the Nobel-price-winner Professor Yunus. With his “Partnerschafts-Helfer-Modell” (Facilitators in Partnership) he has successfully initiated a micro-grant model as an addendum to micro-credits.

What kind of development-politic is successful or not, depends on our idea of man. If human beings in developing countries are only objects for state policy or production-factors in economic calculations, development-politics are doomed to fail. Successful is he, who counts on people. This is why this book is particularly valuable. It not only deals with development-politics – but with people. It deals with trials and errors and with how one can learn from mistakes and thereby accomplish exemplary work. That describes Peter Hesse’s work.


Also by Peter Hesse

in “Management Enzyklopädie” – Ergänzungsband
1973 Verlag Moderne Industrie, München, Germany
Please see reprint in, German section in “Veröffentlichungen” (“publications”)

Management Bildungskonzept
in 4 Bildungsstufen: Schule – Universität – Fortbildung – lebenslang
Educational Management Concept
in 4 steps: school – academic – post graduate – lifelong
1976 für Deutsche Management Gesellschaft,
Komitee für Management-Bildung in Europa, Erkrath, Germany
Please see reprint in, German section in “Veröffentlichungen” (“publications”)

Von der Vision zur Wirklichkeit
Von Lernwegen zum Erfolg; von der Möglichkeit, SINN-voll zu leben.
From Vision to Reality
On a learning path to success and the possibility to live with sense.
1999 Cogito Verlag, Kaarst-Büttgen, Germany
ISBN 3-00-4473-6

Unterwegs zu einem Jesus von heute
Nur wer die Herzen bewegt, bewegt die Welt
On the way to a Jesus of today
Only those, who move the heart of people, move the world.
(As editor and contributor in partnership with Clemens Wilken)
2003 Publik Forum Verlag, Oberursel, Germany
ISBN 3-88095-129-2

Solidarität, die ankommt!
Solidarity, which fulfils its purpose!

(As editor and contributor for the “Global Marshall Plan Initiative)
2006 Global Marshall Plan Foundation, Hamburg, Germany
ISBN 3-9809723-8-0


Peter Hesse’s information from his human development:

Basic truth

Basic mistakes

Child dilemma

Paradigm change