Field trips can be beneficial

Columnist and Columnist

As a kid, I looked forward to field trips as much as I did holidays.

There was just nothing better than leaving our cramped, boring classroom for a visit on a spacious farm or a ride on a slow and steady canal boat.

Field trips broke up the monotony of school days and provided what seemed like unlimited possibilities for the day to hold.

But most importantly, field trips cemented what we students learned in the classroom.

As an adult student in college, I have not gone on a field trip with my classmates in years.

Class trips don’t seem to be done in college, or, at the very least, are rare.

I assume the reason for this is a lack of funds, but with the amount of tuition students pay, couldn’t something be arranged?

The value of a field trip is certainly not limited to grade school students.

This weekend, Toledo was one of six cities to participate in Navy Week, and I put together my own version of a field trip to attend.

In a history class my freshman year, I had learned about the War of 1812 and the Battle of Lake Erie and found the material intriguing.

But on Sunday, I actually had the chance to board the reconstructed ship on which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was victorious in the battle, the Brig Niagra.

I explored the ship and met several sailors and marines on board.

I learned how and what sailors cooked back then, how the ship’s cannons were fired and how the British surrendered during the battle.

Sure, reading about each of these things will allow one to learn what must be learned, but actually seeing, feeling and hearing about them in person was so much more exciting and memorable.

I believe field trips should be included in college courses.

There’s no rule stating course material has to be boring and traditional.

Often, creative teachers make lessons fun and interesting.

Field trips are the next step in getting students to be enthusiastic about what they’re learning.

Students who want to go on their own field trip can do a quick Google search to find out what places in their community relate to their courses’ content and are available to visit.

Field trips are worth the extra effort.

After all, talking with sailors face-to-face about our country’s past and present Navy will definitely stick with me longer than any of my history class’s videos or slide shows.

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