Travelling Provides a Classroom without Borders
Posted by: Teacher ia | on September 9, 2013
As a blogger sometimes I get really interesting media invites. I am always surprised when they invite me to such events thinking, “Why would they want to have an education blogger in their media event?” It is also a challenge for me to decide if & how this event will be aligned with Special Education Philippines. There are some events I really have to turn down. Not because, I don’t think it’s not an interesting event but I may not be the best person to talk about the brand. In such cases I would rather read someone else’s blog or better yet read news than write on a topic that may result only to mis-communication or misunderstanding online.
On the other hand, this was not the case when I went to the Singapore Tourism Board’s event at Mandarin Hotel. You see I attended a similar event some time last year for Malaysia. I realized then that travelling provides a different kind of education that the four walls of the classroom cannot provide. For example, even if you have the best multimedia presentation, swimming side-by-side a butanding (whaleshark) in Donsol is sooooo surreal it literally takes your breath away. For those who travel (and enjoy it) you probably had felt the exhilaration I am trying to describe here.
In one of the cultural events at Metropolitan Museum of Manila, I was exchanging thoughts about global influences with , Ms. Rich May Tolentino, the organizer of the event. We discussed how globally competitive the world is right now. Also, that there is a need to be open with the global exchanges to stay competitive. Personally, I think travelling can open avenues for such global exchange and awareness.
Going back to the presentation of the Singapore Tourism Board, I actually had an appointment for another educational event at AIM called “Investing In People” (an amazing educational framework) but I decided to stay until the end of the program because Ms. Shrina Chan, Singapore Tourism Board Area Director for Philippines & Brunei, was talking about suggested 4-day itinerary for families, couples, & even barkada who would like to go to Singapore this Ber-months. The presentation was sooooo organized it made me excited to travel to Singapore. The speaker’s happy energy is infectious too.
In the middle of my enthusiasm for Singapore travel, I wondered, “What if the purpose of the trip is educational as well?” The way I see it, most travellers travel to do some sight-seeing and lots of photo-taking. However, I think we can maximize the experience further by making it educational. It is inevitable to learn something while travelling but learning is not usually the primary reason why people travel. Here in the Philippines, I think the reasons are usually to relax, to unwind and to bond with friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, those are very good reasons to travel already. However, as an educator, I cannot help think of the learning opportunities that can happen at the same time. This is to ensure that our trip, let’s say as a family, is not just for pleasure but also for growth and development emotionally, intellectually and most importantly, culturally.
I will send these questions to STB as well so come back to this post if you have the same questions as I do and check if they have answered me already or not.
- The semester break is almost coming (October). Do you have educational tours you can offer to Filipinos to encourage them to spend their sem break travelling Singapore?
- If you do have an educational tour package like the suggested places you have for the family, couples and barkadas, can you tell me what places will be included in this package?
- What would you like your neighboring countries (like Philippines) to learn about Singapore?
- Why should parents, schools and students choose Singapore as a place to visit if they want to learn about Asian culture?
- Do you have promos for student travellers? Family groups? School field trips?
There are some schools here in the Philippines who have field trips abroad such as Xavier High School, ICA, Reedley International School and UP Diliman to name a few. To be honest, it does not come cheap. In college, some students may opt not to take these classes because they know travelling is a requirement while some choose to enroll in that class solely because they know travelling is a requirement.
I made use of all the brochures I received from the Singapore Tourism Board for my child’s project for “Alamat ng Lanzones” and a Master’s project to conceptualize a children’s television show. #Reuse #Recycle #Reduce
In an ideal world, I would pray that one day our government can support our students to travel same thing Korea provides for its citizens who want to study English. Even if studying English is not our primary reason for travelling then how about enculturation and effective global practices so that when these travellers come home here in the Philippines they can apply the good practices they’ve experienced because they have seen firsthand how our successful neighbors have practiced it in their country and how it helps them. An example of such practice would be standing on the right side of the escalator and leaving the left side open for those who are in a hurry and need to go up the escalator faster. Have you had an experience before of people who stand in the middle of the escalator and when you asked them to move a little bit to give way they look at you as if you’re such a pain in the tushy? Right?! But we know consideration is something not demanded so we end up considering these people because we know they don’t know any differently. However, if they’ve experienced the same things you’ve experienced then maybe they can understand. But how can they experience the same things if they don’t go out of their comfort zone and see the world?
I support Philippine tourism and will promote it anywhere I am. However, I would like to keep an open-mind as well. And I think expanding our horizon as Filipinos by travelling is one way we can help educate our people.
What do you think of travelling as a form of education? Share your thoughts below. I would love to discuss this with you.