Beyond the Classroom: Field Trips as Valuable Learning Experiences (1)
With the ever-dynamic landscape of education, the conventional ways of learning have morphed into a more practical, active, and realistic character.
By Marie Lizette Tampon
High School English Teacher Manado Independent School, Minahasa Utara, Sulawesi Utara
UNQUESTIONABLY, one of the most important and timeless tenets of education holds that learning is not solely confined to the four walls of the classroom.
The concept of learning has long transcended beyond going through the mundane routine of opening a textbook, digesting hook line and sinker every information found in it until one feels inundated, and single-mindedly accomplishing a pen and paper activity.
With the ever-dynamic landscape of education, the conventional ways of learning have morphed into a more practical, active, and realistic character. These days, the so-called critically responsive education” has taken the limelight and has become a common educational aspiration.
Schools endeavor to integrate community/society into the classroom, vice-versa. Experiential learning has gained traction and is a buzzword used by academic institutions offering quality holistic education.
It is important to note that the precepts of experiential learning chime with those of John Dewey’s progressive education in which he posits that a participatory, active learning was essential for individuals to gain knowledge and develop as citizens.”
Experience-based learning entailsincorporation of a significant experience in the learning process or making the experience as a focal point of learning, critical and creative thinking, reflection, and action.
It is one of the effective ways of responding to the changes wrought by the so-called merging of societies with globalization. The most accessible medium of experiential learning is through education field trips, which accord everyone involved the opportunity to accumulate new knowledge and skills as well as rectify or debunk an erroneous idea.
Deemed as a powerful tool, educational trips enrich the teaching and learning process through the varied personal experiences gleaned from the activity.
To date, there is a greater challenge for educators and academic institutions to create learning opportunities that are more engaging” (Hooks, 1994), transformative” or critical” (Shor, 1992; Wink, 2000), and community-based (Mooney & Edwards, 2001), and Manado Independent School (MIS), as a growing institution, is heading in that right direction. (to be continued)