Do School Tours Help Pupils Learn More?
Most of us can remember sitting through long lessons in classrooms, trying to stay awake and engage with the topic in some way. Most pupils have at least one topic they’re not keen on, no matter how much the teachers try to make it more interesting for them. But regardless of the topic and how engaging it is, there is no doubt school tours can make it more appealing than it would be otherwise.
Whether this involves school trips to Europe or trips that are closer to home, the end goal is the same. The goal is to give the pupils a different way to learn: a way that cannot be taught in the classroom.
Think about learning a language such as French for example. We all remember having French words and phrases written down on the board in the classroom. We also remember trying to memorise them and being asked to repeat them in conversation in the classroom. This can be difficult, especially for those who are not naturally able to learn a foreign language.
Now imagine an entirely different situation. The pupils are taken on school trips to Europe, which allow them to immerse themselves in the real world of France. Now they are able to hear how French people speak the language in a real setting – their everyday setting. They will immediately feel more eager to try and understand what is being said, to see how much of the language they have picked up without realising. Getting involved in a conversation is probably only for the bravest and most outgoing of pupils, but even the most reticent ones will learn far more than they might believe was possible.
It isn’t just applicable to foreign trips either. Day trips in this country can be just as engaging when arranged round other subjects. Many pupils find a day trip to a museum or similar venue is the trigger that causes them to enjoy that particular subject more freely than perhaps they did in the past. Surely this is why many of us still remember certain trips many years later, because they had such an effect on us.
There is no way of knowing which pupils will benefit the most from such trips. But there is every reason to suppose these trips will enhance many a child’s learning experience, simply because of the ability it gives them to get out of the classroom and into a new space for learning.
We all learn more every day we are on the planet. So it stands to reason that getting out of the classroom and into totally different surroundings will be an inspiring learning experience for many pupils as well. Indeed it is hard to imagine a time when school trips aren’t a part of the school year.