What Parents Say When They Receive a Text From Their Kid That Reads “ROTFL ILU TTYL…”
What does that mean? That’s exactly what we’ve found teachers wondering when they’re planning school trips. What does “educational travel” really mean? The trusted Merriam-Webster tells us that “educational” is defined as something that is intended or serving to educate or enlighten, and that “travel” is to make a journey, typically of some length or abroad. But what are the components of an educational tour? What will my students actually be doing and learning? What type of growth can I expect from my students?
With over 25 years in student travel, we’ve got an idea or two to help breakdown the components of educational travel and it’s impact on your students. Let’s get started.
- Educational Travel (as it relates to student group travel) is a combination of tours, site visits, hands-on activities, and cultural experiences that provide a real life connection to classroom learning materials and increased engagement in school.
- Educational tours can be domestic or abroad. From a class trip to our nation’s capital, walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, performing on a Broadway stage, exploring sustainable energy in Costa Rica, to building bridges in Vietnam, there are endless possibilities to connect your educational goals to experiences outside the classroom.
- Let me give you an example. On our trips to New York City, we can guarantee students will be excited about the boat trip on the Hudson River to Ellis Island. We can also guarantee lights will turn on when students review the passenger archives on display. When they see the names and original signatures of immigrants that arrived to America, this will no longer be a history class trip, but a story of some of their own families and a personal connection to their past.
- “Student travel is not only comparable to standard teaching methods, as a matter of fact, it is reported to be significantly more effective than computer-based learning and classroom instruction alone.” Student Youth Travel Association. “Comprehensive Survey of the Student Travel Market.” Survey. 2016.
- 70% of teachers who organize travel programs say the impact of their trip reinforces their curriculum.” Student Youth Travel Association. “Comprehensive Survey of the Student Travel Market.” Survey. 2016.
- Carylann Assante, Executive Director of the Student Youth Travel Association says, “Today’s students are visual learners and a field trip lets them touch, feel, and listen to what they’re learning about, [which helps them] build on classroom instruction, gain a better understanding of topics, build cultural understanding and tolerance, and expose them to worlds outside their own.”
- Researchers from the University of Arkansas state conducted a study on this topic and their data concluded that, “Enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.” University of Arkansas. “The Educational Value of Field Trips.” Study. 2014
To sum it all up, educational travel is an experience that brings your classroom to life. It is a way to enhance the impact of your curriculum, it caters to today’s 21st century visual learner, and provides a set of essential life skills that help students grow into educated, compassionate and respectable adults.
Oh, and let’s not forget. You must have said something real funny because your kid is saying, “Rolling on the floor laughing. I love you. Talk to you later.”