“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.” – Maria Montessori
This week at EAC saw an abundance of comings and goings from campus. Middle School students ventured for their first session at The Clay School. First year Upper Level students visited the Eight Square School House. A small group of third year Upper Level students had their first experience doing service work at a Head Start program at Longview.
“Going Out”, as any experience beyond the prepared environment of the classroom is called, is unique to Montessori based programs. Other schools may go on field trips that expose their students to various aspects of their localities, or have a specific experience related to an area of curriculum. What makes “Going Out’ different from a field trip is that there are always multiple purposes behind any excursion.
For example, at The Clay School, our adolescents will be working in an active, professional studio. Their work will sit alongside the creations of professional potters. They will be taught to use the real tools of the trade by experts in the field. They might even, in turn, aspire to become a working potter one day.
While “out”, our adolescents will experience an unusual working environment, in an unusual facility, located just down the street from our school.
They will also practice grace and courtesy in their interactions with the various adults they encounter, and practice the fine art of code switching: figuring out what kind of behavior and word use is appropriate for the novel settings they find themselves in.
At it’s core a Montessori school is about raising citizens who are active in their world. “Going out” inculcates young people in the practice of engaging in community.
Their education, therefore, is not separate from life, it is life.