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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Staff Editorial: Bring back field trips

   The unmatched excitement of a school field trip has been sparsely felt by students since elementary school. Jittery nights full of anticipation have been replaced by the mundane high school schedule. High schoolers should have the opportunity to go on field trips because they provide relief from the repetitive nature of school while providing students with unique learning experiences. 

    In elementary school, students were typically entitled to at least one annual field trip. This trip was the reward for a year of hard work. However, high school students are rewarded with a week of grueling AP testing and finals.

   Despite high school being infinitely more stressful, students are not offered the chance to escape the monotony of the classroom. Instead, they are forced to sit in the same chair and listen to the same teacher every day. As a result, school days start to blend into each other which creates an unexciting atmosphere around campus.

   According to the Harvard Education Magazine, in a survey of 500,000 students only three in ten high schoolers felt that they were engaged in school. Yet, the same survey found that eight in ten elementary students felt engaged. 

   Obviously, comparing elementary school to high school is unfair, as elementary school is far easier and lighthearted. However, the excitement of learning often wears off as the grades increase. Having field trips in high school can help bring back the novelty of education.

   Field trips give students something to be excited about while still delivering educational material. While learning through the book is proven to be helpful, first-hand experiences are just as, if not more, effective. 

    “Students who acquire hands-on, authentic experience may develop curiosity and interest, leading to a desire to learn more,” according to Marc Behrendt, a writer for the International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, “Observation skills improve. Social skills develop as the students share perceptions and knowledge with others.” 

   Having hands-on learning experiences has become increasingly more valuable, particularly for classes that were forced to endure an entire year of Zoom meetings. 

   Being able to be in a physical lab or to see ancient artifacts up close can do wonders for a student who might be interested in a certain subject, but does not have the resources to further explore their interests. 

   If the goal of high school is to prepare students for college, then learning must extend beyond books. Field trips allow students to indulge themselves in a variety of cultures and witness different lifestyles beyond their standards. 

   While high school field trips sound amazing, the logistics can make it complicated. However, there are ways in which schools can make them possible.

   If money is the issue, then fundraising can go a long way. Gabrielino High School already holds boba fundraisers for dances, so field trip fundraisers could help pay for buses and bookings. Different classes can hold their own fundraisers, whether it be a car wash or selling chocolate. 

   In fact, the greater Los Angeles area offers a plethora of free exhibitions such as the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the California African American Museum. This way, only the buses would have to be paid for.

   While an entire graduating class is too large to take on a trip, having a singular subject like AP Biology or World History would be feasible. Trips can also be voluntary, so any student who wants to go can simply sign a form. 

   Field trips can reignite the joys of learning. They can help a student discover their passion and career path. They should be a part of the high school experience. 

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Staff Editorial: Bring back field trips