Why Schools Should Embrace the Return of Field Trips

Picture+of+ERHS+students+at+the+Green+Summit+Field+Trip+at+Schmidt+Outdoor+Education+Center.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+ERHS+Environmental+Defense+Club.

Picture of ERHS students at the Green Summit Field Trip at Schmidt Outdoor Education Center. Photo courtesy of the ERHS Environmental Defense Club.

Brooke Sharp, Business/Social Media Manager

Field trips are a staple in the childhoods of many current middle and high school students. However, field trips went to a halt completely after Covid erupted and even before then, field trips were on a significant decline over the past decade. As a result, current elementary school students have not gotten the opportunity to travel to a Smithsonian Museum in D.C. and experience the thrills that it gave us when we were growing up. Thus, the return of field trips should be encouraged not only by students in schools but also by teachers and parents because of the explicable beneficial effects it has on students.

Understandably, parents are reluctant to encourage their children’s schools to plan field trips because of the valuable learning time that is “taken away” from them. However, it was reported by the Student and Youth Travel Association in 2016 that field trips boost students’ cultural awareness by 79%, reinforce personal development by 74%, and create a positive outlook on a student’s view on their education overall. Field trips allow students to travel with their peers to experience the real world for themselves — giving them a glimpse into what people in the world look like and what being independent feels like.

Field trips not only allow students to gain a better understanding of the diverse world around them, but they also allow minority and other disadvantaged students to get opportunities to see the world that they would not get otherwise. This opportunity, I feel, is crucial in leveling the opportunities offered to more privileged students and schools should prioritize giving students that chance. 

Teachers and school administrators have the ability to plan, sponsor, and implement school field trips for their students that could have incredibly beneficial outcomes for younger and older students. As I recently went on a field trip to a college fair with a lot of the junior class, that opportunity to get exposure to a variety of colleges across the country would not have been possible without the work of the 11th-grade administrators. Though there will always be complaints from parents and the teachers left without some of their students, field trips are worth the extensive planning and funding in order to give students a new experience that can open their eyes to a world they will eventually enter on their own. So, let’s embrace those new experiences and embrace the return of field trips.