Learning from lectures and literature in class is a vital part of education, as the activity allows students to acquire a large amount of detailed and precise information in a relatively short amount of time. However, field trips offer different opportunities that are as valuable and help to solidify the knowledge gained from theoretical studies. The two types of learning activities are equally important and complement each other, with both being vital to an effective curriculum.
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Class studies may cover a wide variety of topics, some of which would be very difficult or impossible to study otherwise. It is possible to learn details about the anatomy and habits of various creatures that would require dissections or prolonged observation to discover through practical means. Furthermore, all the information can be accessed on the spot, without the need for lengthy and distant trips to locations where an endemic organism may be found. Lastly, class learning does not interfere with the students’ other plans and activities, making it more convenient for them.
Field trips, however, can help one comprehend the theoretical knowledge gained in lessons. For example, measuring the sizes of various fish by hand is an excellent way to establish an understanding of what the number of centimeters listed in a book would mean in practice. It also allows the student to learn about the behavior patterns of the fish in question and ways to handle them, which involves motor skills that would be difficult to establish in a class environment.
Also, students can learn information that would not necessarily be mentioned in class lessons but can still be useful and exciting through field studies. They can find out which creatures are carnivorous and present a danger to other residents as well as the appropriate environments for various fauna and flora. They can also see the variety present among the members of the same species, from different colors to more exotic conditions.
If someone is planning to become a specialist in a nature-related area, field trips are an invaluable way for them to gain experience and learn what their desired line of work entails. They can interact with people who work in the locations the class visits, receive advice from them, and observe their actions. Also, they may be able to establish relationships with the organizations and apply for internships or part-time work there later on.
Lastly, field trips are an excellent recreational activity, helping students relieve their stress. A change in environment is a reliable way to relax and calm down, and different tasks can help one explore new approaches when old ones lose their effectiveness. Field trips often involve physical activities, which help people rest after the mental efforts that class studying usually involves. At the same time, the time is not wasted, and the students keep acquiring knowledge and experience.
Class learning and field studies are equally important in the learning of natural sciences. In the current age of information, much of the necessary theoretical knowledge can be quickly accessed without the need to go anywhere. At the same time, many facts and details can only be learned and comprehended through direct interactions with the object in question. As such, field trips help students learn in class and offer additional information as well as opportunities for those that are interested in them.
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