This is a really slow and anologue thing to do. Get some cactus seeds, soil, pots, water. Some information how to do it (cactus seeds need light, don’t dig holes) and apply tender, love and care. The kids will have to wait for the results. But after a few months of dedication. Here we are. It’s not just a sofware download. It’s a relation to nature.
One very often discussed topic, but most of the time the results are same: NO IMPLEMENTATION after the discussions.
Field trips, are they really effective or wasted educational time?
Preparation is essential
From my side as an educational scientist I have to say: Yes and Yes and Yes. Field-trips are the most effective educational implementation ever …… if:
1. all the subjects on this day are involved in the preparation and execution on that day
2. all the subject teachers are informed long enough about such a field trip to find cross connections to be able to point out such connections to the students in advance.
3. all involved teachers in such a trip are 100% prepared, a field trip need much more preparation than a “normal” lesson.
4. all involved teachers have an awareness about the amazing chance of such a field trip.
5. all involved teachers have an awareness of their high responsibility during the execution of such a field trip.
Field trip or shopping tour
But now I want to come to the problem of the reality, the real implementation of such field trips and from that side I have to say:
This time is the most wasted educational time.
Why I have to say such a strong sentence:
1. basic bad preparation and organization causing wasted waiting times and teachers are not prepared to fill this time with meaningful educational tasks. They simply don’t care.
2. teachers are not prepared at all and most of the time my observation of such field trips show that they have no awareness about the amazing chance of such a field trip.
3. teachers most of the time using that time like relaxing time for the teachers.
4. teachers most of the time have no awareness of their very high responsibility during such a field trip.
5. teachers think if they are giving students freedom to do what ever they like to do during such a trip, students would like that. This is the biggest mistake in the thinking of teachers, please find below one very interesting report from one of our students about exact such a field trip:
“Hi, my name is Yosefin and I’m 15 years old. I’m one of Globe’s students that joined the fieldtrip to Singapore. I like the plan for the fieldtrip going to Singapore and successfully, we did it. We were so exciting when we heard the school’s headmaster accepts the fieldtrip’s proposal. From the fieldtrip, we got new and further sight about what will we be able to do after high school. We learnt also how is the university’s student study and some of their lessons. It’s great that we could see immediately their practice lessons and their staffs were so kind. But in some ways, I got disappointed with two things. Firstly we should go to the national library, but we didn’t, we went to the public library and secondly, after that, we just spread and some of us were just shopping. I think school need to be more cooperate and help us to get something more in the field of education when we have a fieldtrip like that, than just wasting time and money for shopping. Also teachers who go with us must be stricter. I also think that school must be more care about the teacher who is on duty at the fieldtrip time, like, when they need help and support. Thank you and God bless you.”
I am so thankful for this report and it shows that mostly teachers underestimating their own students, a field trip is the greatest chance to implement theoretic absorbed knowledge for students, so please teachers take such trips serious, prepare it more than a lesson, start to develop an awareness how important such trips are for students, give them every guidance you can during such a trip, to make it effective and meaningful with educational outcome and background.
A field trip is not a shopping trip, and even if you plan it as a shopping tour, there are much more things during a shopping tour to discover, if you guide them correctly.
Most important things of a field trip are the preparation, structured organization and an effective meaningful execution, than a field trip is the most effective educational time ever, if its just a ‘relaxing and give students time to do what they like to be a loved teacher’-execution than its the most wasted educational time ever.
And please don’t always underestimate your own students, all what they want is:
NOT HAVING WASTED EDUCATIONAL TIME!
For your preparation of a professional executed field trip you can find help under this link: general field trip checklist
Time needed: 10 – 20 min
Why? Students get their own responsibility for their lessons and learning activity. The teachers will get two evaluations directly with one methodology, first while monitoring the test development in the content of the questionnaire the teacher can see where are learning gaps and second of course during monitoring the question answers. This methodology is also a learning instrument during the test creation weaker students in the group will also find new knowledge or be able to repeat already taught knowledge.
When? Any time an evaluation is needed with testing or examination.
How? Divide the class in groups and let them develop their own test or examination under you supervision. One group is creating the test for the other group. Write the test and let them also evaluate the test result after finishing the test.
Any risks? Be careful with creating the groups, care for a meaningful mixture of students, it is not very helpful to put all weak students in one group and all strong students in the other, if you mix up your groups very clever you will be surprised about the efficiency of this learning and testing method.
Time needed: periodically 2 – 5 min
Why? This workbook is forcing students to study self-responsible about in class taught topics in school.
When? This methodology is very useful to give to early finishers special extra tasks, or to support weak students to give the tasks in the book as self study tasks for break-times or special tutorials.
How? Ask every student to bring an empty thicker writing book to school.Every time when you realize difficulties you can give them extra tasks to fulfill and let them write this in the book, but don’t let them finish it in class, this book is for self-responsible studies. Tell the students, if they still don’t understand special topics they should try to finish those tasks, whenever they like. This book can be filled all the time with tasks, from every subject teacher, so that other subject teachers also have the chance to participate and use this as different instrument in class, special for early finishers which every teacher has to face.
Any risks? Don’t let them bring the book back home, it should stay in school, otherwise they will finish all the tasks at home, this is a conscious instrument for forcing and supporting self-responsible studies of students in school.
Time needed: 30 min
Why? Children will involve many skills, counting, using senses, body movement, phantasy.
When? When ever you think your lesson need a relaxing of the teaching and learning atmosphere, in sport lessons as well, don’t just think smaller children like to play that game.
How? A number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers. The game is played by one player (designated as being “it”) counting to a predetermined number while the other players hide. After reaching the number, the player who is “it” tries to find the other players. After the player designated as “it” finds another player, the found player must run to base, before s/he is tagged by “it.” In some versions, after the first player is caught, it calls out “Ollie Ollie oxen free” (or “all outs, all in free” or many other variations) to signal the other hiders to return to base for the next round. A derivative game is called “sardines”, in which only one person hides and the others must find them, hiding with them when they do so. The last person to find the hiding group is the loser.
Any risks? This game is always enjoying for everyone, but give a clear time-frame otherwise they will over do it. Special “sardines” is preferred for older students.
Time needed: 10 – 15 min
Why? This is an amazing enjoyable method to force students to use their absorbed knowledge in a very practical way.
When? Any time your class need a more relaxed atmosphere and you want to force your students to practice absorbed knowledge.
How? Prepare one treasure which is connected to the main topic, than plan the treasure hunt in different stations and give on these stations different hints where is the next station with the next hint. This can be in other classrooms, outside in the garden, with other teachers or staff in the school. the first hint for the next station will come from you, you can prepare also to get the hint for the next station with answering several questions or fulfilling several different tasks. If you place hints below something without involving a person, the task should be included to find out the next hint. (like forming a puzzle, or answering special questions and the first letters of the answers is the next hint, or the answer at one question is the next hint). You can divide the class in different smaller groups so everyone will have something to do while the hunt and the first group will be the winner and beside of the treasure will also get some surprise, or you for the treasure hunt as a race in general with just one treasure but different hunting routes and the first group will get the treasure.
Any risks? This could be very time consuming, so as better you prepare the stations, as much more effective is the result and the joy of the hunt. If you place outside hints, consider the weather situation. Place hints at places you can be sure none else will take it away, otherwise the whole hunt will be destroyed, or inform other staff about the hunt to let hints in the different stations. Place hints not to easy, students will lose their interest if they don’t have the chance to search seriously,but also don’t place it too difficult, the same effect will be seen. Students need to get the chance to find the hints, but on the other hand they also need to get forced to search. To prevent that students use to much time and just wasting time, give them also a clear time frame and make it also as a race.