Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

Article Title

Beyond four walls : experiential and situated learning


School is, for many children, a safe haven physically and emotionally, and the structure it provides is exactly what they crave and need. At the same time, however, they also need to be exposed to novel and stimulating experiences that allow them to view their world in new and positive ways. Incursions and excursions allow schools to provide their students with such experiences, in terms of social and emotional learning in particular, but also in terms of learning in general. An excursion to, say, a war museum, a visit from an Aboriginal story-teller or a performance about bullying or grief can provide a non-threatening experience that can modify or challenge students' belief systems, introduce them to new perspectives, make them more resilient and help them to realise they are not alone. Incursions and excursions can provide students with an opportunity to develop socially and emotionally. The learning process is enhanced when information is presented in context, which is not necessarily a traditional classroom setting. The author proves a list of factors that teachers should consider when organising an incursion or school visit by a provider. [Author abstract, ed]

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