Learning how to work with others is something that elementary children spend a considerable amount of time learning to do. How to collaborate with others in a productive way requires a lot of give and take. In the beginning it isn’t easy for them to compromise. Over time they start to realize that working with others can be fun and dynamic.
Elementary children are working to achieve order in their minds. Where do they fit into the larger society or where can what they learned in math that day be used or why does water expand when it freezes. Ordering the information is a big part of their work when writing essays. In effect, they learn how to formulate arguments, which in turn, can then be used in their collaborations with others. This challenges them to know when to be flexible and when to actively work to persuade.
Working harmoniously with others is what you could call part of the Grace & Courtesy curriculum of the Montessori School of Duluth elementary. Facilitating dialogues between children helps to foster the growth of these life skills in our 1st through 6th graders. Teamwork is an art. Sometimes the children simply agree to disagree certain things so that their partnership can continue.