What Are the Benefits of School Field Trips?

By Diana Bocco, eHow Contributor
School trips come in all forms and sizes. From half-day drives to the local park to a camping trip out of the city, field trips present a way for teachers to approach knowledge in a completely new way and for kids to have fun while learning. Field trips give children a chance to experience hands-on learning while also being introduced to new environments.

Learning in New Environments
1. The boredom of the classroom may lead some kids to lose interest in a particular subject. This is especially true of difficult subjects, but it can happen with pretty much anything. Also, new environments can provide challenges that allow for more individual learning, while classroom teaching is often generalized and many times targeted to the slowest learners in the group. During field trips, kids have a chance to go the extra step and take on as much information as they want and can.

VCS students recently visited the Griffith Observatory

Having Fun
2. Field trips are a great way to break out of a rut, end a boring subject or bring life into something that seems particularly difficult. It also gives kids a chance to get to know each other and interact in a more relaxed environment, without the pressure of grades or the constraints of classrooms and grades.

Putting Knowledge Into Practice
3. Field trips are a great way to cement difficult information. Historical facts, biology knowledge or even physics and chemistry can be experienced first-hand during a field trip. For example, a biology field trip could take kids on a hunt for bugs or certain types of flowers, while a history teacher can bring kids to a hands-on exhibit or a special workshop held at a local museum. For this to be more effective, kids should have a list of hands-on tasks before they leave for the trip. This could include anything from maps to exercises to a list of things to collect or do during the actual day.

 

Letting Kids Learn by Doing
4. Experts believe there are different methods of learning, including visual, auditory and tactile. Students who learn better through tact (known as kinesthethic learning) will greatly benefit from field trips, where the senses come into play a lot more than they would ever do in a classroom. Depending on the type of field trip, teachers can take advantage of this by allowing kids to not only observe but also to actively participate in the events going on around them. While tests and classroom education may not work so great for some kids, field trips put everybody at the same level, as the learning is experienced, rather than taught. Field trips can also be a great way to provide interaction among subjects. For example, a trip to a local nature center could be used to explore the flora and fauna, practice concepts learned in physics and mathematics, used to jump-start writing topics or made into a history and geography lesson.

Getting ready to enter the observatory

Everyone who went had fun and learned a lot!

Introducing Kids to New Experiences
5. While most parents would do their best to introduce kids to the arts and cultural events, the truth is that, many times, lack of time, money or knowledge prevents families from attending such events. Field trips are an excellent way for kids to be introduced to the arts and enjoy activities and sights that they may otherwise not be exposed to. For city kids, field trips could be a chance to be in contact with nature and explore the outdoors.
Recently Vermont students visited Firestation 85 near the school. They learned about the job firefighters do and what their daily routine is like. Here some of our younger students get "hands-on" experience holding a fire hose.