Most parents remember classroom field trips with fondness. Field trips take learning beyond desks and crowded classrooms and into real life. They provide a unique opportunity for students to engage with the curriculum in a hands-on and immersive way. Many Texas schools are limiting field trips to once a year, or removing them all together. At Rainard field trips still play an integral role in our students’ GT learning experience. Field trips offer students numerous educational benefits which enhance their learning experience.
Field Trips Offer Real World Applications
Field trips help bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real world application. It’s one thing for a student to read about how food is grown, it’s another thing entirely to visit a farm and learn directly from a farmer, with hands in the dirt. A trip to the science museum can take an abstract idea and bring it into a tangible and relatable space for a student. These first hand experiences can lead to longer retention of information and a deeper desire to learn and explore ideas.
Multi-Sensory Learning Opportunities
Learning is not restricted to our hearing and visual senses. We learn through touch, taste, and smell too. We can all agree, reading a recipe is a completely different experience than smelling and tasting the food. Multi-sensory learning caters to visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile learners, making it easier students to fully understand concepts. Field trips aid in immersing all the senses.
Trips to historic sites, history museums and other cities, states and countries help students develop a broader world view. According to a study from SYTD 79% of educators surveyed consider it a priority to increase cultural awareness of students. Exposure through field trips to other cultures, music, food, art, and history helps students better understand other people who are different from them, fostering cultural awareness and empathy. Through field trips, students have the potential to gain a profound appreciation for diversity.
Field Trips Promote Enhanced Critical Thinking
Field trips encourage students to ask questions at a deeper level than they might in a classroom. Seeing dinosaur bones first hand, with their absolute magnitude is a far different experience than seeing a picture in a book. In person exploration allows students to dig a little deeper into a subject. Museums are often built with kids in mind, offering opportunities to solve puzzles or interpret historical artifacts. Experiences like this promote curiosity.
Increase Social and Emotional Development
Field trips offer the opportunity for students to work with peers, explore new environments, and communicate with adults. Exploration like this can boost students' confidence and independence. Memories and bonds are built on trips with peers, which helps build feelings of belonging and trust.
Ultimately, field trips help bridge the gap between theory and practice. Plus, students love them. Their value is undeniable. We know field trips are an integral part of a well rounded education which is one of the reasons they play such a large role in our curriculum at Rainard.