Going Out? A True Montessori Experience
What is going out? Why is it important? How does it connect to a student’s learning?
Maria Montessori said, “When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them in cupboards.”
So, what did she mean by that? We’ve all learned about recycling, and perhaps we made a bird feeder out of an old milk carton that we could hang in the tree. But, imagine, instead, that we go to the garden at our school, weed it, create a compost bin, and use that compost to fertilize our garden. We then plant the garden, harvest and create a feast from the produce. Which activity creates greater learning with us?
One of the advantages of the Montessori classroom is the building of independence. The ability to take ownership of learning, plan what to do, then the completion of that plan. Opportunities for going out are the perfect chance for students to do just that.
Some ideas for opportunities could include:
- Field trips students choose and plan that fit their interests
- Nature walks
- Visiting another classroom
- Attending a performance of the arts
- Planning and shopping for a meal
- Visiting the library, police station or fire department
All of these activities allow children to practice grace and courtesy, learning there are different ways to behave in different places and for different activities. Secondly, going out helps students know the world around them and the interconnectedness of nature. Finally, going out brings the classroom learning to the real world, allowing students to apply learned concepts in a manner that is meaningful to them, which gives them confidence and builds independence.
Share your “going out” activities with us! We would love to hear from you.