Just a thought on a different kind of education…

How important do you think travel is to a child’s (both elementary and secondary levels) education? I have always said that the broadest of my knowledge comes from all the traveling I did over the years with my parents. By traveling, I specifically mean trips to historical, artistic and natural sites: Pearl Harbor, Van Gogh Museum, national parks, etc. Any thoughts?

~Jessica

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Just a thought on a different kind of education…

  1. allison

    Jess,
    Thanks for your post. An interesting thing to think about. It seems that travel can certainly broaden your perspective on the world. As for class field trips, I never gained anything from them. In fact, I usually hated them. I found them boring and never really learned much. I think the best experiences come on an individual level- not through a whole-class trip. I think a student would benefit more from deciding to go places then getting there on their own or with a family member or friend. Perhaps small-group, optional field trips are the way to go. That way you get the students who are genuinely interested and want to be there.

  2. mandygrl101

    Jess: I think traveling is an awesome opportunity for students to have to truly learn about and see the world. Yet I don’t think that high school students are often offered the chance to go to meaningful and/or interesting places. I remember in 8th grade, the entire student body went to Washington D.C., which was awesome. We got to do several tours and visit some of the landmarks of the area. I will never forget going to the wall honoring the Vietnam veterans. However, from 9th to 12th grade, I did not go on any very signficant field trips, or at least none that I can remember. We did small trips, like attending theatrical productions, but I don’t remember anything other than those, which is unfortunate. There was a club (I think?) that planned trips for students who could afford to travel, and I know a small group went to Spain and another to Ireland. Yet these opportunities were hardly advertised. Further, there are plenty of places kids could visit right in the U.S. that would be interesting and educational. Again, I have to wonder along with Alison, if large field trips would be possible with high school students. While trips may be rich opportunities for kids, they could also be liabilities for schools. Good question Jess! Thanks for getting me thinking.

    -Mandy

  3. sofiapenna

    Jessica,
    I think it is most ideal for our children to travel during their elementary and secondary level learning years. Professor Zhao, who we have read extensively in our ENG 506 class, has commented about this very subject in his articles. He reminds us that many of our American students cannot pick out other countries on a map or speak a foreign language. This is a weakness for our children as they grow older and compete in the global workforce. We must make our children worldly at a young age, so that they work well in diverse situations, experience different cultures and points of view, and see how “close” we are to distant lands in this new digital age. -Sofia

  4. jillian24

    I am a real supporter of field trips, yet I understand the budget constrictions and liability. Still, I think that educational funding should be revised to include the necessary funding for these activities.

    In terms of experiential education, I think that it supports a majority of the pedagogy we’ve been discussing this semeseter. Experiencing new things helps to bridge discources (Gee), using technology allows us to experience a variety of things without excessive travel… but I think that eliminating actual experiences would be detrimental.

    This brings up another change in education. Schools are now replacing the family in all sorts of educational areas. Social skills and moral instruction are debated; are they the responsibility of teachers or parents? Trips fall into this catagory as well. Families used to spend time together discovering new things, through vacations of various sorts. Now, with less focus upon family time and more focus upon working/ making money, students come to school with fewer of these experiences. I think that change requires some sort of response in the way of increased travel in schools.

    Jillian

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