By Abigail Kim
Field trips offer the chance to take a break from school, while still learning lessons that contribute to their education. Field trips get students out of the classroom for a more hands-on approach to their subject.
However, most students at Granada Hills Charter (GHC) never get the chance to take a field trip during the regular school year.
To be fair, planning and funding field trips is a challenge for teachers and administrators alike. Not only do teachers have to decide on a location that will allow that many students to come at once, but they also must get permission from the administration, arrange transportation, decide on a meal plan, plan the schedule, arrange supervision, get permission forms signed for all students, and be able to tie the field trip into their lesson plan.
The fact that GHC has such a large number of students per class also makes it difficult for teachers to try to take multiple classes on a field trip as not every venue will take enough students to make it worth it.
From the student perspective, the benefits of attending a field trip far outweigh the challenges. Field trips are advantageous in increasing student knowledge about class concepts, providing real world learning and experiences, strengthening their relationships with their classmates, and also giving them memories that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives.
Field trips have a lot of educational value. They increase student engagement because they are learning in a different and new environment. If a student struggles with certain concepts, a field trip can provide the information they need in a way that teachers can’t. Many students are visual learners, so field trips allow them to visualize what they cannot in a classroom.
Depending on where you go on a field trip, the location can offer a variety of different content which helps all students, even if they have different styles of learning.
Bringing students on field trips also gives them the opportunity to learn curriculum in the real world. When students are only able to interact with class concepts and themes in a textbook and the images or text that the teacher provides them with, there is often a disconnect from how the concepts fit into society or history.
Actually going to see the Endeavor at the California Science Center, for example, helps students understand its enormous grandeur, which pales in comparison to seeing a 2D photo of it in a Google Slideshow.
Even more important, as high school is a training ground for adulthood, field trips can strengthen students’ relationships with their peers and with their teachers. Going on field trips helps students to gain insight on what people are like outside of a school setting.
When we are in school, most of us have a productive mindset, always focused on trying to learn and perform to the best of our abilities. But field trips are almost like mini vacations where we can relax and be ourselves, while still learning. Instead of worrying about your next test, you can actually have real life conversations with your classmates and teachers. And for any teachers reading this, this gives you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of your students and how they think about the world around them.
Ultimately, field trips provide a lot of educational value, memories, and real life value to students which is why GHC students need more of them.