Many administrators and directors question if field trips can be educational. My quick reply is “yes!!!” Many districts are limited to taking field trips. I feel that this is a shame.
I do not support taking a trip each week to play at the park or go to the swimming pool. However, I do not feel that many teachers would even consider things such as these. But I do feel that field trips are important school experiences.
Many administrators are concerned about the class time missed due to the students going on a field trip. Children learn best from experiences. Much research will say that children learn from hands-on activities and experiences. A well-planned field trip can be one of the most rewarding learning experiences in a child’s life.
Without going on a school field trip, many children would never encounter certain experiences. For example, I took my class to see a professional production play. There are some parents that would never consider taking their children to see a play. Through the play, my students learned about fairy tales and types of media (which are both in my state standards).
We also visited a pumpkin patch. Some children had no idea that corn exists in any phase other than out of the grocer freezer or can. Children got to experience seeds and plant growth along with farm animals.
When studying about animal survival and behavior, what will impact a child most? The child looking at a picture of an elephant in a book and listening to text explaining how the elephant uses its trunk to throw dirt on its back to stay cool? The student going to the zoo and watching the elephant throw dirt on its back to stay cool? I feel that the child will remember the latter.
Experiences such as these can also enhance a child’s reading abilities. Children relate text to their own personal experiences. Text may be less meaningful to a child with very few experiences.
It would be impossible to take a trip everywhere. However an occasional school outing to observe activities that otherwise some children would never see, is not going to deprive any student of learning.
Why should we confine our teaching to sitting behind a desk?
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