Field trips: A Good or Bad Idea?

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Ah, the thrill of field trips! The name itself is enough to trigger adrenaline rush in children studying in institutions from all over the world. Apart from their educational purposes, field trips offer the most refreshing break from the monotony of the daily school grind. May it be students from kindergarten or from universities, field trips are something every student likes to treasure in its memory for a lifetime to come. However, as charming as the idea of field trips seems to everyone, it is actually a big challenge for the organizers and institution heads to deal with. Just imagine how would you possibly cater to an overly-excited mob of middle school students? And that too for more than half of the day! Here is a look at how field trips have the potential of becoming either the best or worst experience for anyone involved:

Why Field Trips are a Good Idea?

Field trips have progressively become a core part of curriculum in schools, colleges and universities. Here is why the idea of field trips is encouraged at each educational level:

 

Fortification of Curriculum:

As stated above, the main purpose of field trips is to fortify the curriculum. These is no better way to add value into any curriculum than to add a stroke of practicality in it- and that’s only effectively possible through periodic field trips. Field trips let instructors evaluate the extent to which they have been successful in delivering the due knowledge on any subject. Whereas, it lets students experience skill-development through implementation of textbook knowledge during field trips.

Hands-on Experience:

There are some subjects which necessarily require field trips for better student understanding. Such subjects and field trips go parallel since hands-on experience becomes a crucial part of the learning curve. For instance, if a teacher is explaining the principles of recycling to a kindergarten class, it is better to take the children out on a field trip so that they can actually apply the knowledge about recycling and composting on real-time landscapes. This helps in development of long-lasting memories about a certain subject. Not to mention the added advantage of cultivation of good habits.

 

Greater Subject Exposure:

Subjects like Science, Art, History, Technology, Medicine, Sociology and Public relations etc require a good deal of real-life field exposure. This is only possible through assignments and field trips. Instructors often combine assignments with field trips to get two birds with one stone. This technique has shown some impressive results in the professional, social and academic development of students belonging to every level of education.

 

Teamwork:

 

Field trips bring students together on a mutual learning platform outdoors. They offer a break from the stringent class rules and regulations and let students stretch out their skills in every dimension they know. Field trips enhance the response mechanism in students so that they can act in time of crises and work for mutual benefits. Field trips are like social events which promote analysis skills and decision making in all the participants for good.

 

Communication Skills:

When students are out on a trip, they tend to adopt a different and more effective set of communication skills. No one wants to get lost from the group nor does anyone want to miss out on learning new stuff. Field trips promote the cultivation of better communication among students as well as between students and instructors.

 

Why Field Trips can be a Bad Idea?

As tempting as the idea of field trips is, it can be quite a challenging thing to tackle with. Here’s why field trips may not be all fun and games all the time:

Long Hours of Planning:

Field trips, without a doubt, require extensive planning. From getting the applications for field trips approved from concerned departments to arranging proper food for the members, everything needs to be taken care of in a well-organized and manageable manner. Field trips often take 5 times the amount of time required for theoretical explanation and demonstration of a specific subject.

 

Mismanagement:

More often than not, field trips often fall a prey to mismanagement. Young kids and even teenagers are prone to disobeying the decorum of a field trip and going astray from the main groups. Furthermore, if weather forecast and traffic situation is not checked beforehand, it can lead to serious complications in a field trip.

 

Costly:

As compared to the conventional academic lessons, field trips are costly. It is because everything from fuel and driver’s charges to food and first aid requires extra cash to be spent upon.

Behavioral violations:

Some mischievous members of any field trip are susceptible to show behavioral immorality by breaking the ethical code and school rules in the high of excitement. This can sometimes result in costly damages to school or site property.

 

Liabilities:

From accidents and losing children on the destination to miscalculation about food requirements and road threats, field trip visitors are exposed to a number of liabilities which can not be prevent more than a certain limit.

 

Solution: Feedback

To overcome these challenges, one biggest mechanism available at the disposal of school administration is feedback. Principles and heads of concerned departments may ask feedback regarding management, expenditure, safety and experience etc from members as well as instructors of a field trip so that mistakes can be avoided and experience can be improved in future.

Now, it totally depends on you and your perception to decide whether a field trip is a good choice or not. In my opinion, if handled correctly, field trips are quite benefitting for all anyone which gets to become a part of it. Just be prepared and the rest will flow with you.

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