I just filled out our registration form the AZ State Fair. This is something we do every year, and something we all look forward to. And thanks to their wonderful program for schools and homeschools we can attend nearly free! I don't even have to remember on my own... every summer I get a letter and form in the mail. We pick our date, fill out the form, write our $5 check, and off we go.
So I was looking at said letter and form yesterday, and at the top it said, in all caps:
A FIELD TRIP IS AN INSTRUCTIONAL METHOD OF ENRICHING THE EDUCATION OF THE STUDENTS. A FIELD TRIP TO THE ARIZONA STATE FAIR OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO OBSERVE AND EXPERIENCE THINGS FIRST HAND.
Wait, what? "An instructional method?" No, it's not. It's a fun day out with my family. I have no doubt that the kids' learning while they're there will be immense, as it is any time and any place that they are living, breathing, and engaged. But to call it an instructional method, and to approach it as strictly a "learning opportunity" is to subscribe to the outdated - and ridiculous - notion that learning is something that happens in a certain place and time, cut off from the rest of life. At the risk of repeating myself here, learning is everywhere. LIFE is an opportunity for students to observe and experience things first hand.
Life is the ultimate experience.