Opinion: The need for field trips

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Jan Carteaux presents to students on a field trip at Arizona Interscholastic Press Association at ASU on Oct. 29. Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Haub.

Field trips are not only fun for students and teachers, but they are also an indispensable part of a student’s learning and understanding of curriculum. 

Providing out-of-classroom learning experiences is a great way for students to attain hands-on learning experience. Field trips allow students to take the knowledge they learned out of the classroom and apply it where this information matters most: the real world.

NDP senior Molly Tosetto believes NDP students should be given more field trip opportunities because “real experiences give students an opportunity to connect a concept with a personal experience” allowing them to “remember [the concepts] better.” 

According to Marc Behrendt and Teresa Franklin, authors of the article “A Review of Research on School Field Trips and Their Value in Education,” “experiential learning at formal and informal field trip venues increases student interest, knowledge, and motivation.” Implementing field trips into as many subjects as possible will enable students to form a true passion and understanding of concepts. 

While science classes at NDP do provide students with labs, most other subjects fail to meet this standard. NDP senior Vanessa Mati believes “doing labs in class help [her] to learn the material better because [she] gets a hands on experience.” 

“I find that I learn more when given the chance to demonstrate the material in actual circumstances,” said Mati. 

As science classes have hands on learning through labs, all other classes need to experience hands on learning through field trips. 

Most courses at NDP consist of taking notes in class and studying for tests, but if NDP were able to integrate more field trips into classes, students’ understanding of curriculum would increase, and, most likely, test scores would improve with it.

While other courses such as Digital Photography and AP Environmental Science offer experiential learning to students, this type of learning is not always provided and should be integrated into all courses. 

Allowing students to experience a concept in person helps them to make a personal connection. On field trips, students ”interact with the setting, displays, and exhibits to gain an experiential connection to the ideas, concepts, and subject matter.” This not only helps them to remember ideas for a test, but it enables them to commit it to long-term memory. 

Field trips “provide firsthand experience … stimulate interest and motivation … add relevance to learning and interrelationships … strengthen observation and perception skills … and promote personal (social) development.” There are so many benefits to field trips that NDP needs to implement more into its curriculum. 

Giving students the opportunity to go on field trips may even spark a passion or desire. This could become a gateway for students to find out what they truly care about and what they may want to pursue. 

“I think out-of-classroom learning experiences, in some circumstances, would help me understand concepts better,” said Mati. Mati believes these experiences would help her to learn the material, but does not see field trips “necessary” for all subjects, including when it interferes with other classes and leads to “miss[ing] valuable class time.”

Providing students with field trips and other out-of-classroom experiences would allow students a deeper understanding and more success in the long run. More of this needs to be implemented at NDP to enable all students to have the best education possible.