Editorial: Schools Should Participate in More Field Trips

Karen Liu, Reporter

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59% of students who participate in educational trips have better grades than those who don’t, according to the National Education Association Member Benefits(NEAMB), a subsidiary company to the National Education Association. Despite this, many schools are opting out on these opportunities.

Schools should participate in more field trips.

The main purpose of a school sponsored field trip is to teach students in a different method and new environment. Many common field trip sites, museums and zoos, stimulate curiosity and help students engage in activities, said TeachThought, an education organization. Multi-media experiences allow students to be active and interested in what they are learning.

Education Next, an online journal on education, said that field trips open students’ eyes to new cultures. Experiencing different environments opens a student’s mind and shows them a new perspective on a different culture. The Atlantic said that field trips are a critical tool for developing students into civilized adults with an appreciation of art and culture.

Oftentimes, going to a museum or historical monument and meeting an educator is more beneficial than learning from a school teacher. These educators specialize in specific fields and can provide direct answers to many questions, said TeachThought. Additionally, this teaches students how to properly behave around unfamiliar adults. 

Field trips can be especially beneficial to students that attend a rural school or a disadvantaged school. Disadvantaged schools have fewer opportunities to attend field trips, so when they do participate in a field trip, they see a significant benefit and improvement in critical life and work skills.

If a school is unable to physically participate in a field trip, one beneficial alternative would be a virtual field trip. Virtual field trips consist of students watching a virtual tour and exploring a location online. Both virtual and physical field trips can benefit students by helping them absorb and apply what they learn to the real world. The National Science Teaching Association, an organization comprised of science teachers from across the world, said that there was no conclusive statistical difference in test scores between students that went on the physical field trip versus students that participated in the virtual field trip, showing they have similar benefits.

With the significant positive effects of them, school students should participate in more field trips. Contact Derry Township School District’s Superintendent Joseph McFarland to encourage the school’s participation in educational trip opportunities.