One of the ways in which a Montessori elementary program supports the social growth and unique development of each of its students is by skillfully integrating the practice of “Going Out” into the children’s learning experiences throughout the school year. These adventures take the children out of their classrooms and into a larger learning environment. As the children grow older, they gain a new sense of independence and responsibility as they venture out in society and gather new knowledge about our world.
These outings are usually planned by the children and spring from their own interests or classroom community needs.They are different from a traditional field trip in that they are crucial to a child’s understanding of how the world works and society functions. In a classroom with more than one adult, many times, a Going Out can be spontaneous.They often involve only a handful of students. For example, a small group of children may need a ride to buy food for their classroom pets when it runs low or want to stop at the public library to look for more books when they are researching a specific topic.They may be interested in architecture and want to tour the city streets looking for Roman columns or stop at a local bakery and ask some questions about how kringle is made. When children have the opportunity to go out on these types of marvelous adventures, they can capture the excitement they have about learning something new and experience it when their interest and focus are high.
Many times, compassion and community service are at the heart of the plans children will make. While these types of Going Out could be spontaneous in nature, they are more often the result of careful research regarding the community’s needs and brainstorming ways in which the children, as members of their society, can make a difference in the lives of others. They allow the children to express their unselfishness and sense of justice in a meaningful way that will hopefully instill a lifelong awareness that they are valuable, capable members of our society. It encourages and invites our children to grow into amazing social individuals who care about the world and all of the unique people who live in it.
The Tree House children planned this Going Out to buy shoes and socks for the homeless people in our community and delivered them to the Hospitality Center.