A study exploring approaches for enhancing deeper learning on international field trips in Human Geography and Planning
The field trip is a well-established component of Human Geography and Planning curriculum in Higher education (Rynne, 1998), and seen by many to be both an essential and enjoyable learning method (Kent, 1997; Fuller et al., 2003). The role that these visits can play in skills development and the building of group identity, team spirit and good staff–student relationships should also be considered (Clark, 1996), however assumptions of the overall effectiveness of field trips remain. “Deeper learning” refers to the combination of a deeper understanding of core academic content, the ability to apply that understanding to novel problems and situations. This article explores the approaches to enhancing deeper learning on residential field trips through the design of preparatory resources and activities in relation to an international field trip embedded within a Level 7 module. A critical review of pedagogic strategies specifically intended to foster student attainment and engagement on field trips was undertaken, focussing on pedagogic interventions which could be applied to a residential field trip for home and international students studying Sustainable Planning. Through the literature review several key themes were identified which highlight the changing approaches have occurred in recent years with a distinct shift from passive to active learning techniques on field trips and the importance of identifying atypical considerations such as emotional geographies, the ‘place’ in which learning takes place and importance of preparation to ensure effective learning can take place.