Monday, 3 March 2014

How Students Can Learn Life Skills From Geography Trips

Classroom learning is fixed to a set curriculum, but this is often not what students carry with them after they move on from school. It is those nuggets of informational gold, those vital memories, those startling everyday skills, which students can apply to their own lives and identities which carry the greatest significance.

The great benefit of excursions is that they allow students to learn lifelong lessons and skills from fun and memorable experiences.

Learn to care for the planet


These days, a central element to geography trips is understanding environmental damage. In natural and urban environments, ecosystem transformation has provoked strong discussion over the question of sustainability and the ideal way to prevent adverse effects to the environment. While this discussion may seem too technical in newspapers and textbooks, students can develop more full and personal opinions about conservation when they journey to various ecosystems and environments, and begin to pick up a mentality and the skills to care for the planet.

Open up the world


Young people take time to mature into realistic conception of the world at large. This process is not automatic and can be thwarted by insular focus on the local. The great boon of geography trips is in their ability to open up students concept of the globe in an exciting and sensory fashion. By going to the slums of India, the slopes of the Alps, the ruins of Rome and the streets of New York, students can bring the global into the local by personally interacting with places they may have only ever seen on maps.

Adapt to different weather


It is important to learn how to manage climate as a good traveller. On geography trips students will be exposed to a wide range of climates in contrast to ones they are used, and then push them to consider critically about how they can adjust to these weather situations. Also, students will be forced to test their own reactions to different weather patterns, which is the groundwork for picking up skills in travelling to places parts of the world where climates can vary quickly and sharply.

Develop cultural significance


Students who go on geography trips are in reality taking a test in culture. On a planet that is ever more interconnected by global communication and means of travel, young people need to have wise and nuanced views of the differences between cultures and how such varying worldviews relate to their own burgeoning identity and reactions to others. An excursion to the streets of Madrid, the shores of Normandy, the trees of the Black Forest or the urban sprawl of New York will not only teach them about environments and society, but also about how to interact with different people.

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