Field trips are beneficial

Noble Avellino

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There is a maxim for learning capabilities inside the classroom. Teachers and resources make it so that all of the information is there, and some projects such as labs for science classes even give students a chance to test their application of skills learned in the classroom. However, there is usually not that much opportunity to expand learning or to put it into practice outside of the classroom. School trips create that opportunity. School trips are able to expand a student’s learning and let them expand on skills outside of the classroom. The Madrigals spend an exorbitant amount of time learning their repertoire and perfecting it, and usually take many days in December traveling to different venues to show the skills and music they’ve accumulated over the past three months. These venues – such as the Matheny Medical and Education Center for children with disabilities and the Center for Hope Hospice – are not just places to perform for the Madrigals, but are also important character builders that help build upon values of community service. The Comparative World Religions class teaches students about religions in all walks of life: their distinctions, their characteristics, their values. Students have a lot to learn from that class; however, there is a personal nature to the course’s curriculum that cannot be taught by simply sitting in a desk for forty minutes every day. That’s why the class does take trips, such as the one recently taken to a Sikh Gurdwara, aided by Sikh junior Rai Bindra, to make a personal connection to the information learned in the classroom. “Reading books is one thing, but visiting the gurdwara itself engages an individual to see a culture in action,” Rai said. “I can read a passage from a book and call it a day, but actually visiting the place itself shows the reality of the life within.” While the material taught at Bernards High School is valued by students, parents, and faculty alike, everyone accepts that there are limitations to what can be taught in the classroom. That is what makes class trips so valuable: it is the school taking an initiative to expand a student’s learning in ways that would not be traditionally possible. “School trips are beneficial to learning,” said junior Ben Aharoni. “They let me learn in a new way in my classes. It’s engaging and I don’t learn best having to sit down 100% of the time.” That does not mean that every single excursion on a big yellow bus is going to lead to some profound enlightenment that was just out of reach of a student sitting around in class, waiting for the bell to ring. It simply means that trips are an additional layer to learning, and that the school and individual classes have an interest in promoting our education and livelihood by making those trips possible. The benefits of trips are evident and profound and should be treated as such.