Elementary Going Out
Because no classroom can contain answers to all of the child’s questions, “going out” is a response to the need to explore beyond the classroom. In contrast with the traditional field trip, where the adult usually plans the activity for the whole class, the Montessori elementary children’s “going out” is based on individual or small-group interest and is an extension of classroom study.
Whether it be a visit to the public library for more specific books on earthworms and butterflies or a trip to an art museum to see Japanese paintings, children “going out” plan their own excursions, call the institution to be visited, and work out their transportation needs. The experiences of learning from new resources and meeting different people present a glimpse of social cooperation and the experience is a wonderful training ground for learning executive function skills.
Another part of “going out” can be service projects such as cleaning up the environment or holding a food drive for the hungry. These projects build the child’s sense of social purpose and moral responsibility.