Fieldtrips are more important than students think

Signe Stroming

Students and teachers at Liberty vastly underestimate the value of outside of school learning—namely fieldtrips. Much of what we learn in school is only about something, or the theory of an idea, or the history of an idea. Rarely do we get to learn through first-hand experience.

Students at Liberty do have several opportunities to take field trips; for instance, the science department fieldtrips to the zoo for Biology and to Silverwood for Physics. Students in co-curricular classes like DECA and Choir have the opportunity to compete or perform, often at events during school hours.

But students and teachers underestimate the value and impact that leaving school campus for learning can have on education. Leaving campus breaks the monotonous rhythm of A-day followed by B-day followed by A-day followed by B-day. While obviously, some structure is needed to learn effectively, most students more or less fail to be actively engaged in their own education. I know that being on a fieldtrip or some other outside of school experience can really change that.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference, and I ended up missing several days of school. While I did have a lot of work to make up from in-class work, I think the experiences I gained were invaluable. This is not a column to talk about my personal experience at HOBY, but after attending I did notice a trend with myself and others who missed school to enrich themselves in some other way. I came back to school the Monday after feeling physically exhausted, but mentally refreshed and inspired to apply what I had learned to my life at school.

Outside of school learning is an underrated source of real education. It provides rejuvenation from the daily rhythm and real world experiences that can’t be gained on campus. Opportunities for students to gain this type of learning are there, but I hope that more students learn to seek them out. I promise that it will be worth it if you do.