Engaged learning comes to life on field trips

Chloe Morse, The Rubicon Editor

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SPA is known to have a bubble that protects students from experiencing anything new or unwanted. While not in of itself negative, this bubble prevents students from learning how their classes are relevant to the outside world and confines students to only one mindset. As a way to minimize the impacts of this bubble, classes need to engage with the outside world and teach students how their education has an impact on them, and eventually the world around them. The easiest way for classes to connect with the world is through class field trips, but besides Environmental Science and History of Refugees, few classes at SPA have field trips that complement what’s happening inside class.

Field trips offer a way for class learning to be more expansive, and can reveal how the topics being discussed in class are relevant to the real world. Taking students outside of the classroom opens up many more opportunities through more experiential learning and real world application. For example, if a history class is learning about the history of factory labor, they could visit the Mill City Museum for a more comprehensive experience. Or, if a math class is learning about geometry or trigonometry, they could visit a building known for its complex architecture and use their skills from class to find certain measurements of that building.

Furthermore, students who struggle in a traditional sit down classroom would be able to have a more engaging, and therefore more educational, experience. Learning on field trips would rely on other strengths besides mental, such as how to work well with others and find information that isn’t easily provided, like it would be in an academic setting. Therefore, not only would struggling students succeed more through using different skills, but they would also be able to better engage with and understand the content. As these students would be able find more success in a non-academic setting, their esteem would build as a result of their increasing success rate. Finally, classes would develop a stronger community, as students would engage with each other on a more personal level, and ultimately have a better, more positive experience.

Out of classroom learning needs to be incorporated into the curriculum for the benefit of class development, and students. However, teachers can’t act alone in this initiative; the SPA administration needs to develop an expedited process for teachers to bring learning outside of the classroom. Without a supportive program for field trips, classes won’t have a standard expectation for experiential learning, and therefore will not incorporate it. Only by creating a conducive environment for field trips will learning at SPA be revolutionized to support everyone and maximize their skills.

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