Participating in a school outing is an experience that all students should live at least once a year! On a social level, the activity generates a number of benefits: a stronger bond is created between the students as well as a sense of belonging and a sense of pride for their school. But the most important aspect is that it makes learning fun!
In finding themselves all together in a different setting, the students discover new skills in each other. The teachers get to see the students in a different context and often discover unsuspected aptitudes in them. Conversely, students get the chance to see a different side of their teacher.
AWAKENING NEW TALENT
The classroom is a micro-society: children are all different and express themselves according to their own abilities and inclinations. Some young people are athletic, others are more artistic or scientific in nature. To expand the knowledge of each type, we must expose them to a broad range of materials. This will enable them to make an informed choice in the near future.
Educational outings are the ideal opportunity to take a trip ‘’outside the box’’ and broaden students’ range of interests. Diving, cinema, theatre, music, science, nature, or new technologies... Some children in the group, may have never had the opportunity to discover these areas.
SHARING DAILY LIFE WITH OTHERS
A school outing can take place at a number of locations: a sports complex, a museum, an artist’s workshop, a science centre, an environmental centre or simply a 2-day visit to a city. It goes without saying that each of these activities - which could take place over one or several days - will be very instrumental in the cognitive development of the child.
But beyond the didactic learning, students will also learn to live with the group. Let’s take the example of a short school trip, such as a "green class": Children share a moment of solidarity through which they will integrate collectively concepts of discipline, while doing some specific learning. This kind of experience brings a wealth of new knowledge and develops open-mindedness.
CHALLENGING REGULAR HABITS
Cross-curricular learning refers to all the knowledge that is assimilated along with traditional learning. We are therefore talking about autonomy, a spirit of initiative, responsibility, sociability, respect for others, and the rules of life. School outings offer the possibility to put this cross-sectional learning into practice.
Through discovery, observation and concrete action, the educational field trip enables students to deepen their knowledge of various things: strategy, character development, the promotion of healthy relationships between peers…
OPENING NEW HORIZONS
During school outings, the child is placed in a position to respond to information or situations that are new to him. We can take the example of a tourist outing in a city renowned for its historical monuments. To begin, the teacher will present the history of the region and a few important elements to remember. During the visit, if asked about his knowledge of the place or his impressions, a student interested in history will feel challenged and will want to learn more. Later that evening, he will question his parents about the site or will conduct a search on the Internet.
Each new educational field trip has its share of opportunities and will promote open-mindedness toward learning something new. This learning can represent a springboard to new acquisitions. It can be considered a learning stage, but it is also a foundation. It will enable the student to invest his acquired knowledge in a new experience of life which will have great significance for him.
The teacher may also stimulate the personal strengths of each student by assigning tasks during the activity that will take place outside the school: taking notes or photos, video recording, collection of material elements such as information or natural items.
Field trips also contribute to reducing inequalities between students. For example, an individual gifted for studies may feel less sure of himself outside the school environment, and see the need to find new resources within himself. A student who has difficulty in class could prove to be an excellent group leader, or have unsuspected qualities: temerity, agility in a sport or artistic talent.
PUTTING KNOWLEDGE INTO PRACTICE
School outings are definitely an extension of academic teaching. It can be seen as a real-life experience or field work. Because they fall within the framework of the subject matter- and often the teachers prepare their students for them - these excursions are a real complement, a little like some spontaneous practical learning outside the field of theory.
Surveys conducted among teachers point to the fact that schools which offer outings, whether of a cultural, sports or scientific nature, increase students’ interest and their participation in these different disciplines. A cultural outing can also develop values based on empathy and tolerance. So, don’t miss out on the benefits of school outings and give your students the chance to flourish in all kinds of different ways!