One of the most glorious realities of being young is the curiosity that comes with it. Young people love to explore beyond their immediate environments, reaching out to discover the world. That’s why the benefits of learning through field trips this school year are numerous. Field trips answer youthful curiosity with opportunities to encounter the world beyond the classroom.
Taking your students out into the world is a highly visual experience. In the runup to a field trip, no matter where you’re taking your kids, preparation ensures your students can get the most from the excursion and reap the maximum benefit possible.
Structure vs. adventure.
The promise of learning outside the classroom sets student minds on fire. Not only do they get out of their familiar, highly-structured classroom setting. There’s the opportunity to connect with classmates and enjoy some social time along the way. The anticipation alone primes them for the experience.
Instead of being bound by the constraints of the curriculum and the discipline of the classroom, students on field trips are free to go where their curiosity takes them. This helps them develop specific areas of interest and confidence in their choices. Autonomy in learning is an important benefit of field trips.
But it’s the promise of an adventure that makes field trips the highlight of any school year. When you take your kids outside the classroom, you’re sending the message that you’re ready to share the world of learning with them in a new way. You have sufficient confidence in them to set them loose on the subject, so they can explore aspects of it which genuinely interest them.
Standing at the front of a classroom and imparting knowledge is hard work and it’s often difficult to maintain engagement, when you’re constrained by curricular imperatives.
Taking your students on a field trip provides them with fresh intellectual and sensory input, enlivening the subject you’re teaching with 3D experiences which bring your teaching to vibrant life. In an unstructured environment, leadership is still required, but there’s also the opportunity for exploration and tactile, interactive engagement to underline what you’ve been trying to share with them.
Managing the downsides.
The modern world offers many distractions. Students taken into a public setting may be tempted to get distracted by their mobile devices, the noise and activity in the setting they’re in and the general high spirits youth is prone to.
But as an educator, you can manage the downsides, by being clear with your students about what’s expected. You may even ask them to agree to relinquish cell phones prior to entering the site you’re visiting.
By far the best move teachers can make is to adequately prepare students for the experience they’re about to have.
Get there with Junior.
Junior Tours has been in the business of creating exceptional learning tours and field trips for students since 1967. For 50 years, we’ve been tailoring student outings to educator goals. Contact us for a free sample itinerary.