School excursions can be a fountain of knowledge. Students are expected to not only enjoy themselves, but also drink from this fountain and absorb skills that can be assessed according to the standards of the curricula.
But knowledge is not simply the entry of data into the brain. It also includes the sensory absorption. This creates pedagogical experiences and builds the student's ability to connect with the world around them.
Sounds of South Africa
Some destinations seem to strike certain senses more than others. On educational trips to South Africa, students will no doubt listen to words of wisdom, but in particular their ears will be piqued to absorb the cultural and natural sounds humming around them. South Africa is famous for safaris, and the sounds of a safari are unlike any others. The roar of the lion, the bellow of the elephant, the howl of the hyena, the song of the wind sweeping across the plains - students' ears will drink in this sensory information and it will shape their understanding of these unique ecosystems.
Smells of Cornwall
It is widely recognised that information accompanied with hefty sensory impact is often remembered more clearly. Students on educational trips are expected to process and remember what they learn. It may be strange to think of their noses playing a significant part in this pedagogical process, but indeed, the firm implanting of the history and biology of the Cornish coast into young minds is aided by use of their young noses. The briny sea air, the sweet smell of loam on cliffs, the tingle of dew drawn in with the musty smell of an ancient church - these smells will help ideas and words learned to linger longer in the minds of students.
Taste of Rome
Rome is as famous for its food as it is for its antiquity. On educational trips, the two go hand in hand. Not only is the cuisine of Rome an adventure in itself that pushes the cultural bounds of visiting students; not only can students who are keen to learn culinary skills take a unique opportunity to learn from the best; but with each melting piece of cheese in the mouth, each scrumptious morsel of soft bread, each sip of decadent sauce and each swallow of perfectly seasoned meat, students will be associating the history of Rome with sensory delights of the tongue that will be hard to forget.
The Sight of Greece
Perhaps the sense most obviously linked with learning on educational trips is sight. Students travel to famous places to lap up the visions of grandeur in person rather than through the inferior medium of second hand pictures. Indeed, the sights of Greece, from the resilient columns of the Parthenon to the sombre pillars of Hadrian's Arch, both dripping with history, will make the lessons learned come alive.