Taking Advantage of Chicago through Field Trips

Alice Bolandhemat   It’s no secret that elementary school is different from high school. In high school, we eliminate recess, teachers walking you to and from classes, and lunches packed by your parents. As our educations progress, we become more independent and focused individuals. Perhaps one of the largest contrasts in high school is the lack of field trips. When I was younger, I’d wear my best outfit, pack my favorite lunch, and put on my biggest smile on the days when we left school to visit museums, see plays, or clean up the beach. I was completely infatuated with hands on learning in an environment outside of the classroom. Field trips, to me, have always been examples of how lessons in school appear in the real world. Living in Chicago, there is an endless amount of places to visit for educational learning purposes. Sure, going to the Shedd Aquarium three times a year for nine years eventually got old, but it was nevertheless a change of scenery. As we mature in age, childish parts of our education slowly start to disappear. Should field trips be one of them? This year, a few notable field trips have already taken place. The visual arts classes visited the Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (EXPO) in September. Additionally, Ms. Sjekloca’s Global Art and Culture history class took a trip to the Murakami Exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Lily Marks, a student in the class, said “I had heard a lot about the exhibit prior to the field trip. I loved how early in the year the trip took place. In addition to learning about art and art history, by taking public transportation and walking around the museum together, my classmates and I were able to learn about one another.” On the day of the PSAT, when sophomores and juniors took an exam for nearly four hours, the Freshman class was lucky enough to visit the Field Museum as a part of their Global Studies Curriculum. This is a stellar example of taking advantage of the available opportunities in Chicago to connect our studies to something larger. Sophomore Amy Lee is another student who is fond of field trips. “I love field trips,” she said.  “I wish we took more of them in the Upper School. They bring what we are learning in class to life. I do believe we could better utilize the Metropolitan area we live in. Chicago is home to so many amazing places of history, culture, and fun!” As students, we spend so much time sitting in a chair staring at a white board. It is important to acknowledge that it is difficult for a teacher or club to organize even the smallest of field trips. Transportation, costs, and scheduling are essential factors. For many, it is helpful to change up the way we comprehend by taking a small field trip from time to time. Although every field trip we take is worthwhile, we take them too infrequently for them to have a large effect on how we learn. ]]>