Travel = Learning Opportunities

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Is there a place for student travel at TAFE to further engange students and foster their learning?

I had a robust discussion with one of my managers the other day about this topic.

The difficulties of student safety, legal issues and equity were all raised.

All were good points and need to be addressed if a student is to be given the opportunity to travel.

The Big Picture approach to learning factors in a travel project for each student each year. There is also a focus to try and include students to travel with the teacher on trips.

One of my earlier posts features one of my students’ thoughts on the benefits he experienced when he travelled with me to Perth. See here.

For me, the opportunity to travel, is worth the risk, because it makes their learning real and opens their eyes to further to what the world can offer.

It could be just the springboard they need to fire up their desire to learn.

This year my students have travelled in the following ways:

  • Shannon travelled with me to Perth to visit a Big Picture school
  • Ethan caught the train (on his own) to Melbourne and then on to Williamstown to be in a Big Picture board meeting
  • Nathan went with his mentor to Torquay for a trade expo and next week to set up a BCF store in Geelong
  • Zak and Maxine travelled with me to GippsTafe to check out their Youth Development Unit
  • Shannon and Tamina have the opportunity later in the year to travel to Tassie to visit a Big Picture girl’s school

In Dennis Littky’s book about Big Picture Learning:
“I have always thought it’s hysterical that inside the school building we work really hard to make lessons that look and feel real, when all the while, the real world is going on outside – and it’s filled with history, social issues, work issues, scientific exploration, math, writing, technology, and everything else,” Littky writes in his book, The Big Picture: Education Is Everybody’s Business. “Why don’t we just step back outside?”

Here is an inspiring trip that a group of Big Picture students in the USA planned.

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