Growing up, the most exciting days of any school year were field trip days. No doubt about it. Something about being at school before the crack of dawn and loading up the buses with a hundred or two of your best pals is just the best feeling in the world. Everyone is tired, but the excitement of the day's coming adventure makes you forget how sleepy you are.
For kids, field trips are certainly an exciting day or two away from school, but there is still a lot of learning going on. Teachers do such a wonderful job of taking what is being taught in the classroom and showing it to their students in the real world through planned activities. It's also important to realize, too, though, that the mere action of travel has a great impact on the lives of students. So much can happen when students are able to get out of their hometown and experience the world.
Getting a school trip organized and executed is quite a task that many underestimate, but it is so important. Here are four things that students take away from travel:
1. Emotional Growth
Field trips are a great social-skill builder. By spending time outside of the classroom with people who aren't their family, students who go on field trips learn tolerance and empathy towards others. (A study from the University of Arkansas showed that students who participate in a trip to an art museum show empathy and critical thinking.)
2. Academic Value
There are certain subjects that students understand better outside the walls of the classroom . Multi-sensory learning experiences that children take part in on field trips allow them to bring their lessons into a three-dimensional environment. In fact, a study conducted at NYU, proved that middle schoolers who went on science fields trips throughout the year, on average, scored better on the state science test.
3. New Experiences
You never know what's going to happen when you travel outside your everyday world. When children go on school trips, whether that's to a museum or to a local business, they have the opportunity to meet people of all kinds of professions and spark their interest in new subject areas. The Student & Youth Travel Association found that almost 70% of teachers consider experiential benefits when planning student trips.
4. Increased Willingness
Most students, when given the opportunity to travel once, will want to travel again. Simply put, travel is contagious. By leading large and accessible group trips each year, teachers inspire students to adopt a lifelong love of travel. Over 50% of educators have noticed a desire for more travel experiences after they lead a group (according to the SYTA).
School group travel has more benefits than we often realize. At the time, many parents may be overwhelmed by many things: the cost, the task of chaperoning, getting their child ready to go. The facts speak for themselves, though. When students travel with one another, they not only gain a better understanding of classroom subjects, but also of the world around them.
What positive benefits of student travel have you witnessed?