Recently for one of my university health classes all 36 students were to plan, organize and embark on a learning experience together. This field trip was to meet learning outcomes that we had developed as a group. This portion of the class was to help us understand what all goes into planning and implementing a field trip. There were many committees within the class that were in charge of different areas of the field trip. Some of these areas included: budget, transportation, accommodation, food, activities, liability and safety.
This past Monday and Tuesday all 36 students and 2 professors set out on our adventure. In the end the trip was a great success. Prior to and during the learning experience some students were doubting the group’s decisions regarding the trip. Some people complained constantly and others thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the trip.
During our trip we talked as a group about the importance of place / experience based teaching and learning. After going on the field trip and taking part in experience based learning most of us pre- service teachers were sold on this concept. Learning through first hand experience is a great way to make learning relevant and find a deeper meaning and understanding. In the end there were still some that had negative things to say about the trip. In my own personal reflection I have realized that no matter what happens during place based learning we can still take some learning away from it. Having any experience at all is better than having none. Every experience presents itself with an opportunity for learning. It is up to the learner to decide what they want to do with that learning. It’s easy to dwell on and regret the not so great parts of the experience we had. What I think we need to remember is that we can always learn from our mistakes our moments of being uncomfortable. The important thing is that no matter what we are always learning from our experience.
We need to remember that if the experience turned out good or bad there is always learning to be had.