Most schools organise field trips for children. The field trips target destinations depending on the age group, and also the educational intent of a field trip. Younger children are taken to field trips to nearby destinations, typically a half-day or a full day return trip, obviously accompanied by teachers, and ferried in school buses.
The higher age group children would go for farther destination and trips, each spanning 3-4 days. Sometimes a week or more if it is overseas destinations.
These trips have significant educational value, as it helps children bond together, interact in an informal environment. They learn to be part of a team, and peer group interaction develops social skills. It also remedies inhibitions they may have developed as personas.
It is also a great opportunity for the accompanying teachers to get a deeper understanding of their students.
For younger children it could be about getting over their shy nature or timidity, and a sense of excitement of going to places other than home and school. The excitement triggers a lot of curiosity in them, thus enabling them to learn life skills, and also a more worldly experience. Every field trip is not only fun, but a great learning experience.
It could be places of historical interest, nature parks, visit to museums, a small cruise, etc. The immersive experience that field trips provide and the real world learning that children experience is valuable. In their minds, they will be able to connect dots from what they experience during these field trips to learning in the classrooms, laboratory, and at school.
In the current COVID times, school children of all age groups are denied of such experiences. Watching youtube videos or curated digital content, can provide the visual imagery, but does not even come close to actually being there and soaking in the ambience, questioning, and the touch and feel experience. It is the absence of travel, the interactions and not “being” in the place.
It is also experiencing different modes of travel: road trip, boat ride, flight etc.
It is also about family trips. Travel is a big educator. That is true through our lives in school and growing up, and later business travel and family travel. Every travel experience is a great learning experience.
Field trips are an integral part of school education. That has also been a big missing factor during the COVID lockdowns. Virtual filed trips, videos are not even close the real-world filed trips.
Let us hope that this deprivation for our children will end sooner than later.