From Mine Tours to Museums: Why Field Trips Are Educational

Educational activities have been a staple of the UK school system for decades and there is no question that students and teachers alike thoroughly enjoy the activities. From high-octane team-building days to more educational experiences, there are a myriad of options available when it comes to these kinds of field trips. The question is though, are these days actually educational? Of course, your first thought would be of course they are. After all, many children often find it easier to remember information if they can attach it to a particular memory or experience. So, why are these experiences so important? Check out this blog to find out more.

The great thing about teaching in the UK is the freedom and choice which you as teachers will have when it comes to choosing activities. After all, there is a rich and interesting history within our country and some brilliant examples of both geography and social studies. Therefore, there are many locations to choose from in the UK and you may have a fairly hard time choosing which is right for you.

There are a few important factors to consider though if you do choose to organise an educational field trip such as the amenities available and the distance you will have to travel. Though before we start discussing the logistical aspect of this let us first get to the bottom of the first question. Why are field trips great educational tools?

Visual learning

Over the years and as neurological science has progressed we have become increasingly adept in the science of learning. We now know that there are many different types of learners and people retain information in a variety of ways. Two of the main forms of learning however are kinesthetic learning and visual learning.

Kinesthetic learning refers to the process of learning by which people take in information after completing activities related to the subject in question. These kinds of learners are extremely tactile and use movement, testing and trial and error to process the information they have been supplied with. Of course activities such as mine tours and museums are perfect for these kinds of learners as there are many opportunities to get involved and experience things first-hand.

The second form of learning which lends itself to museum and mine tours perfectly is visual learning and it is fairly clear why this would be so well suited. There are of course many things for the visual learner to interact with in these kinds of environments and many of them will retain far more information than if they were in a classroom environment. This kind of learning will be brilliant if you are preparing a class for an exam or an upcoming test.

Reinforce classroom learning

There is no question that classroom teaching can, at times, be a touch challenging. Trying to engage a group of young people on a topic they don’t necessarily connect with is a difficult task and it only takes one or two interruptions to cause a break in learning and a subsequent gap in a group’s knowledge. As a teacher, we are sure that you spend a large amount of your time trying to ensure that the classroom is the best possible environment for pupils to learn in. Though sometimes it can be challenging to provide the one-to-one time that pupils need to ensure that they have taken in the information of the lesson. This is where field trips come in.

With a trip to a museum or a mine, you will introduce your students to the subjects you have been discussing in class in person. This will help a great deal with their ability to retain the information as they will have something tangible to link the memory with. Take rock formation for example, seeing a cave in person will be an extremely exciting experience and certainly help the pupils to retain more information.

New experiences

As we are sure you are aware teaching is not all about the curriculum. In fact, some of the most rewarding parts of teaching is helping young people develop as they progress toward adulthood. Of course, there will be many things that a young person will experience while in school that will vastly improve their social and communication skills but one of the best ways to develop these skills is to take the group outside of their normal classroom environment and introduce them to new scenarios. Some of these could be visiting a city for example or a sports trip somewhere.

So, why choose a mine or a museum? Well, the short answer is these places will have a variety of people for your pupils to interact with that perhaps they wouldn’t have conversed with a huge amount before. Interacting with people who are experts in their field can be extremely inspiring for example and may fuel a passion for history or geography. The fact is that experiencing new things can be one of the best possible ways to learn about life and without these memories children struggle to develop as they should. So, make sure you plan a few trips like this every academic year.

Encouraging curiosity

Curiosity is one of the driving emotions of young people and it helps them to discover new things and learn about the world around them. To truly help children to learn you must encourage this curiosity in a safe and productive way. This can, of course, be a fairly challenging task especially when you consider the dangers of the world and the vulnerable nature of many young people. Though what you as teachers and guardians must do is provide a space for young people to experience new things while remaining supervised and safe. There are of course many ways to do this but one of the easiest and most effective is a field trip to a mine or museum, but why?

Museums and mine tours are at their heart educational experiences but they can also provide many other experiences and they are far different from the day-to-day classroom. One of the biggest factors which will help develop young people’s experiences is exposing them to real-life examples and mine tours are a brilliant example of this. Young people will be able to view rock formations and historic items first hand which will vastly improve their interest in the subjects and their curiosity.

Improves social skills

Social skills are a vital part of growing up and without them, young people often struggle to form genuine connections with people and ultimately find it challenging to learn. This is why it is so important to ensure that your pupils have the ability to grow and develop their social skills in both conversation and interaction. There are many ways in which you can promote social skills and we are sure that you already do a lot of these in your day-to-day teaching. Sports activities, for example, can be a great way to improve a  healthy competitive mindset while lunch times are also a brilliant way of building friendships and lasting connections with people.

Another brilliant way of improving social skills is to take your pupils on a day out to either a museum or a mine tour. The great thing about these kinds of activities is your pupils will get to interact with a variety of different people that they may not have experienced before which will of course vastly improve their social ability. They may also make stronger friendships with the people in their class as they will have a new set of shared experiences to talk about.

Improves confidence

Confidence in moderation is a vital skill for any young person growing up. Learning to be confident in the right circumstances will allow them to succeed in a variety of situations such as job interviews or exams. Of course, there are many ways to promote confidence in young people and chances are you are already doing many of these. However, one of the best ways is to allow your class to experience new things and meet new people. This will take them out of their comfort zone and teach them that they can deal with new situations and do very well in them.

If you’re planning a class field trip then make sure you contact us today. Our mine tours are incredibly popular with school classes and will teach your pupils many things about history and nature!