Seat Belts, Everyone!


By Ethan Partridge | Writer

September 24, 2015

From college tours to trips around the world, San Clemente High School’s field trips offer an exciting twist to the school curriculum. I mean, who doesn’t love getting on a bus with your friends and leaving behind the monotony and tedium of the classroom? Field trips are always a fantastic way to learn things through an unforgettable experience. Don’t believe me? Think back to any field trip you’ve ever gone on. You remember it pretty well, don’t you?

Some teachers love the concept of field trips as an outward learning experience, while others view the concept as taboo. Both of these views are completely correct; it simply depends on the content of the field trip. So, when is a field trip no longer educational?

To be educational, a school trip must directly relate to the content of the class. Obviously, a trip to the petting zoo is not a good idea for a Math class. But for perhaps an environment or biology class, this is a perfect idea.

UCLA College campus

The AVID program is a great example of a class whose field trips open the eyes of students. The program sometimes tours different college campuses, even prestigious ones such as UCLA and San Diego State, to help them find out where they want to go once they leave high school and what exactly they’ll have to do to get there.

“Touring colleges is a great way to learn whether or not that college might be perfect for you,” said sophomore Harrison Reeves, a member of AVID. “It better prepares you for life after high school while you still have time to think about it.”

Other courses even offer international or multiple day travels. Almost all language classes offer field trips to countries of the native language. Moreover, the music program performs around the nation. And, to put a cherry on top of all these amazing and exciting opportunities,  all Seniors have the opportunity to travel Europe at the end of their senior year.

Sidney Vinson in Paris ; French Trip 2010

One of the international programs offered at the school is a two week trip to France for students taking a French 3 class or higher. The two French teachers, Madame Alizadeh and Madame Hench, have been taking the trip with students since 2002.

“This trip isn’t only to help students reinforce their language skills, it’s also for them to get the experience of French culture. Students always tell me that the trip helped them greatly in not only understanding French language, but also understanding the French as a people.” Madame Alizadeh said. “I wouldn’t say that the French trip is educational in teaching anything really new, but the experience is something you can’t teach in a classroom.”

Unless a field trip is completely irrelevant to whatever the class taking the trip is learning, it seems to be that a trip will at least reinforce what students are learning, if not teach them something new. A field trip can be an amazing way to apply in-class learning to the real world. Perhaps we shouldn’t ask if a field trip is educational, but rather whether or not it is invaluable.

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