As a result of reading the article “Education Outside the Classroom” by EERA and the recent publication in this same newspaper about the Harvard recommendation on continuous learning, I could not help but reflect on the end-of-year trips that are considered in educational centers.
Undoubtedly, they are usually eminently recreational trips, lasting several days, and usually involve both a significant financial investment for the family and the longest period of continuous coexistence for students and teachers. Therefore, we are talking about a unique opportunity to obtain an educational experience with great impact and durability as long as there is an educational organization of the activity that promotes open, free but supervised learning.
Beyond how playful and fun a trip with colleagues is in itself, it is interesting to assess how it will be carried out before, during and after in order to obtain learning and consolidation results that are incomparable and difficult to achieve in any other way.
Allow me to share my own experience: during an academic year we were working on different artistic styles in “Arts” with Y6 students: the biography of the authors, we replicated the main works… and we chose portraits displayed at the National Gallery in London because at the end of the course we went to visit the British capital. In pairs they had prepared a presentation of each one of the works they worked on and exhibited it in the gallery itself for both their classmates and the rest of the museum attendees, half in English, half in Spanish!
The museum itself congratulated us on the activity that even ended in applause.
Well, in front of the London Eye, Tower of London, Hamleys or any other visit that we were able to make and that, a priori, could be more attractive to 12-year-olds, it turned out that the final evaluation indicated that the most impressive activity had been being able to see Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in person or Velázquez’s Venus in the Mirror.
Even today, these students remind me of that visit of more than six hours and how excited they were to appreciate the art they had studied throughout the year. Some tears were appreciated.
Model students? More like an educational organization for an end-of-year trip as impressive as a theme park.