The "Going Out" Program at Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School
"Going out" is an important part of the Elementary Montessori program. It supports learning in the classrooms and provides opportunities for the children to develop skills needed to function in the world outside of school.
All "going outs" are initiated by children. They have a purpose or relate directly to the work they are doing in the classroom. Children might visit a library to get books for their research. They might go to a store to purchase supplies necessary for their classroom. Museums, art galleries, concert halls, universities and many other places in the city are great depositories of human culture and knowledge that children can explore.
"Going outs" are truly amazing because they facilitate learning on different levels. Besides gathering factual knowledge from outside resources, children learn so many important life skills. First of all, they learn to plan and to solve many logistical problems: finding information, coordinating schedules, reading timetables, and making arrangements. All of this is done in a group, which requires a lot of cooperation and patience. Second of all, during the "going out" children get to participate in the outside world with its rules, models and laws. It provides them with an opportunity to practice being a member of society at large and to develop responsibility through observing adults and acting on their own accord.
A special kind of "going out" involves community service. It helps children build a sense of social purpose and moral responsibility. The idea of helping others is developed early in Montessori classrooms. Community service extends opportunities children have for developing compassion, finding their moral compass and becoming a contributing citizen of the world.