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