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Regular version of the site

Article

Student Research Field trips as an Educational Tool

Higher Education in Russia and Beyond. 2019. Vol. 21. No. 3. P. 11-12.

This paper describes student research field trips as a new educational tool. These are intense, short-term trips by students and their teachers to do field work. Field work itself is not an innovation, but one of the main approaches to discover and understand the world. Geography, ethnography, and archeology are mainly based on field work. Some of the elements of field work such as travel and collaborative work are also known as traditional approaches in education, for example the “Grand Tour” of young aristocrats around Europe in 17th and 18th centuries, which was a final and necessary part of their education; the value of collective, shared responsibility, and common tasks in the theory and practice of pedagogy of Soviet educator and social worker Anton Makarenko; or even the traditions of the Pioneer and Scouting movements in the 20th century. A better term might be “an old-new method in education” and it could be seen as an answer to the extremely fast changes occurring in higher education. In this case the new (or “old-new”) tool does not try to follow these rapid changes but does at its own pace. In the new educational reality of the massification of higher education, global educational migration, and MOOCs, they are like the slow food movement or small craft industries in a world of fast food corporations and mass production.