When schools make choices about trips for their students, they need to consider more than just destination and content. While every student group is different, it is widely appreciated that students will remember and process the information on an excursion when they are fully engaged with the subject matter. This engagement requires a degree of personal and emotional connection.
Here are some vital techniques that can provoke such engagement.
Students on an educational tour will always pay more attention if they think a musical performance, the hustle and bustle of a financial centre, or a science laboratory will reveal options for a future career. For example, students who travel to Frankfurt can be inspired by the life of finance workers, while students who travel to Edinburgh can have their eyes opened to the real life of scientists and researchers. It is clear that putting a practical slant on these trips will provoke student involvement.
If students take an educational tour of the battlefields of WWI, visit the home of Shakespeare, or travel to the political hub of Washington D.C., they will see the ideas and people that they have read about become real and amenable. This is because when a student is made to share a personal connection with the past whilst on an excursion he or she will find the subject matter takes on greater relevance. What they see is in context and becomes personally relevant to them, therefore encouraging them to engage.
Students on an educational tour will naturally be fascinated if they wander the ruins of Greece or stumble across unique sights in China. Expert trip providers and teachers can maximise on this sense of exploration by urging their young charges to be model pioneers, within the bounds of safety. Harnessing this sense of curiosity and exploration is essential to making excursions more significant and memorable.
Any educational tour with teaching goals ensures students are focused and purposeful when they travel. Setting out a clear purpose for an Arts and Design, Citizenship or History trip means ensuring that students have assignments and projects they need to work on. An excursion can seem like a great excuse to have time off, but expert trip providers and teachers will make sure that the information students learn is tested in the classroom.
It is important to remember that a student on an excursion does not learn alone but within a group of their peers. Whether they are on the streets of London or the cliffs of Spain, if students in a particular group are asked to be responsible for each other, to look out for each other and help their peers with their learning, they will focus better. Hence, this group dynamic presents a great chance for students to have their attention invigorated and sharpened.