Think back to your childhood days, the time you spent at school. What is the first thing you think of? We’re willing to bet that, apart from maybe your first kiss, a favourite teacher or your worst punishment, school trips will be some of the fondest memories.
School trips gave you and your fellow students the chance to escape the everyday monotony of the classroom with its dull desks and exercise books, getting to experience real learning, hands-on learning which was much more enjoyable than the rigmarole of examinations.
Sadly, thanks to increasing concerns about health and safety, the school trip has been slowly receding into memory-only territory in recent years. Many within the teaching sector do still advocate its importance; here are some of the reasons why it’s still relevant.
Applications in the Real World
Most people think of education as the time spent inside the classroom, the time spent twiddling thumbs and passing notes while staring incomprehensibly at the blackboard. The “standard” form of education is the teacher talking and the pupils listening.
Due to short attention spans, this method can be surprisingly ineffective. For a child to understand what makes society tick, he or she must be taken out of the classroom and placed in the real world.
Whether this is simply a trip to a zoo or a work experience day in a local firm, kids can really benefit from learning outside school.
Most children probably wouldn’t say they particular “enjoy” going to school, for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s that they’d prefer to be at home watching cartoons or that they’d actually like to be outside playing sports, kids would usually prefer to do something more traditionally fun than sitting in the classroom.
Field trips are an event – something kids look forward to as it makes a change in the routine. It is much more stimulating than the “passiveness” of classroom learning, and causes kids to pay greater attention to the lessons being taught.
An educational day out at Ness Botanical Gardens or a trip to the Discover Science Museum, a school trip can be a great way to teach more specialised lesson than perhaps would not work within the confines of the school grounds.
Places such as Beamish (the North of England Open Air Museum) in Durham can make for a memorable day out, whilst simultaneously allowing the kids to get a hands-on experience of life at the time. This sort of thing applies well to museums as well.
As you can see, it is fairly clear that school field trips are still very important. Though it’s very unlikely that we’ll see classroom learning shaken up in the near future, we can still rest assured that field trips shouldn’t be going the way of the dodo.
In class, pupils can feel put off, not understanding what real world applications the lessons will have for them. However, if you take them out of the classroom, all of a sudden they are begging to learn and will soon understand what importance their lessons really have. For further reading see this PDF produced by HSE here.