Why are field trips important?

Written by iulia filip
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Why are field trips important?
Field trips help students learn outside the classroom and develop team spirit. (school bus image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

For most students, a field trip is a highly anticipated event. Whether it involves a trip to an out-of-town aquarium or a half-day escapade to the local park, the school outing is most likely the biggest adventure the kids will experience during the school year. Field trips represent a creative teaching method that takes students out of the familiar class environment and allows them to experience new things. While kids learn by observing their surroundings or participating in educational activities, they also have the opportunity to bond with their classmates in a more relaxed atmosphere.

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New Learning Environment

Although going on a school outing means escaping the classroom for a day, the learning is not necessarily paused. On a field trip, students interact with each other and with their teachers in a less formal environment, where they have the opportunity to enrich their education with actual experiences. Depending on budget and teacher availability, schools may send their students to museums, aquariums, natural reservations or botanical gardens. While they give kids a break from the classroom routine, these outings do not hinder the learning process. Students continue to learn by observing natural phenomena, animals, plants and artefacts firsthand.

Curriculum Auxiliary

A field trip can also support and reinforce the material covered in class during the school year. For instance, on a field trip to an aquarium, students can closely observe aquatic animals and microorganisms they study in class, as well as the animals' behaviour in their natural environment. Artefacts preserved in a museum can remind students of cultures, events and personalities studied during the semester, while also helping history come to life.

Building Team Spirit

A field trip gives students a chance to connect to their classmates on a more personal level, away from the formality of the classroom or in-school gatherings. Students get to spend more time in smaller groups, talking about their interests and hobbies, and finding common ground. By participating in group activities and contests, the kids can also develop their team spirit. It is a good idea to organise a field trip early in the school year, in order to give students a chance to get comfortable with each other and form friendships that will provide them with support during the academic year.

Captivating Student Interest

On a school getaway, students are more relaxed and more likely to perceive their educational experiences as enjoyable. Kids will take in closely observed phenomena and personal experiences with much more enthusiasm than they show toward printed material. An excursion is the perfect time for the teacher to guide the students' interest toward various areas of study and to explain theoretical concepts using examples.

Strengthening Teacher-Student Bond

A teacher who supervises students during a field trip carries a great amount of responsibility on her shoulders. Nevertheless, a school outing can be a rewarding experience for an educator, giving her the chance to get to know the students' personalities and interests. Moreover, the kids will see their teacher in a new light. The connections established during a school trip will encourage students to come to the teacher with any problems they may experience during the school year.

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