Since the Greeks invented formal schools, field trips came into existence. One benefit for children is the tactile and experiential chance for learning. For inner-city children, just seeing a cow on a dairy farm instead of looking at pictures can be a world-changing experience.
An Extension of Classroom Learning
Children learning about trees and their uses can benefit by a trip to an arboretum or forest. If they learn in class about different trees and how to identify them, then get to apply that first hand with leaves, branches and needles, they gain a sense of our natural heritage. And if they happened to learn about maple trees and maple syrup, a trip to a sugar shack can be a tasty way of teaching them there are more uses than timber for our forests.
Bringing to Life
Bringing the children to cultural and historic centers stimulates important social discussions in the classroom post field trip. By exposing children to societal issues through museums and historic centers, school children gain a worldly perspective needed in today's culture.
In addition to the issue specific educational opportunities field trips give, children also gain valuable social and citizenship skills. Having them act polite and appropriate while at a museum, learning how to ask questions at a zoo or how to share space on the bus with classmates are valuable secondary benefits of field trips.
Reinforcing Larger Learning Objectives
By bringing kids to the source of a school lesson, it adds realism. This enhances the larger learning object. Watching animals on an eco-preserve gives a greater knowledge of a complete eco-system when added to the classroom lessons.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.