17 April 2017

Field trip, 1947

Post-War Field Trips

Minneapolis school children from Hay and Willard Elementary schools, as well as a South St. Paul group, wait at the Great Northern railroad station to board a train for St. Paul. Schools around the city have started taking field trips again after ceasing during war-time. As many as 450 children a day are touring farms, trains, zoos, industries, and historic sites.
-- Minneapolis Morning Tribune, April 25, 1947
From the Stuff About Minneapolis tumblr.

I have fond memories of field trips from my childhood, when a day spent touring a factory was deemed as important to education as a day in a classroom.  I think it's important for young children to see - in person, not on film - a working assembly line, an animal barn, a railroad train etc etc etc.

I don't know to what extent such trips are undertaken nowadays (readers...?).  I would concede that it must be a headache for a businessperson to host dozens of unrestrained fourth-graders, but I think if such ventures are not taken, a learning experience is omitted.

5 comments:

  1. Whatever their frequency in absolute terms, I bet that school field trips are a lot more common than fond memories of them!

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  2. I, also, took many educational field trips as a student in a small Christian school. Once I became a school administrator, I discovered that it was getting more difficult to schedule them. A lot of places don't won't/can't have the students through because of the liability they pose. It's a shame that the tours are mostly not available anymore . I have great memories of those trips.

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  3. In our district, each grade level takes about two field trips per school year. They're generally either cultural or scientific experiences: a play, the orchestra, the zoo, a museum or science center, etc.

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  4. I work at Raspberry Pi, a UK charitable foundation that makes small, affordable (sub-$35) computers, and aims to educate people (and especially kids) about computing. We manufacture under licence at a Sony plant in Wales. We work with Sony to organise school visits to the factory, which take place at least once a week for kids over ten years old.

    As well as touring the factory floor and observing the production line, the kids get to take part in classes and activities; it's an important part of Sony's corporate social responsibility in Wales, and we're very proud to be a part of it. You can read more, and see some video of what they get up to, at http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/road-to-zero/.

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  5. Slightly off topic but I find the clothes amusing. A lot of the girls look like tiny middle-aged housewives. (Especially the ones in the front at the far right.)

    I do remember field trips fondly, from when I was a kid. But, invariably, my main memories are of things like the ice cream sandwich I bought from a vending machine in the cafeteria of the Museum of Natural History in New York City, or the gift shops! But I'm sure I must have learned some things from the experience, if only subliminally.

    My memories from chaperoning field trips I remember less fondly. One children's museum had literally six exits from one room, that was over-brimming with multiple classes of second-graders. The literal second my little group of five entered the room, boom, they scattered like a firecracker going off and disappeared into the crowd! I spent most of that field trip panicking and trying to shepherd them together and not lose any!

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