Educational Travel: Exploring the World through Student Adventures
Educational Travel: Exploring the World through Student Adventures
Travel grants perspective beyond black and white, beyond the rigidity of dogmas and biases
The best way to learn is to travel, explore, observe, empathize, analyse, and come up with constructive conclusions
The 19th-century English philosopher Herbert Spencer once said: “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.”
Education is the complete transformation of an individual into a compassionate, balanced, wise and enterprising human being.
This cannot happen only through classroom or campus learning. Through education, if we mean to prepare our children for life, then they surely need constant exposure to different aspects of life and a range of experiences that will prepare them for the real challenges of life.
If the aim of education was only to collect information and do some experiments in the lab, then humanity wouldn’t have made so many discoveries and inventions or achieved such marvelous progress.
The education process is to travel from darkness towards light – the light through which we can distinguish ourselves as bundles of positivity. This light helps us differentiate between constructive and destructive action!
And the best way to do this is to travel, explore, observe, empathize, analyze, and come up with constructive conclusions. This can be done best through student adventures.
At Sherwood High, we believe in offering holistic education, helping each student realize their true potential through real-life experiences and exposure.
Offering field trips and taking children outside their daily routines is part of our curriculum.
Recently our students from Grades I and II visited a fire station, the Indian Music Gallery, and Prani – the pet sanctuary.
The universe is a classroom like no other, offering us lessons of the widest range if we are willing to open our eyes and ears. Every part of this universe, particularly the earth, which we can travel through easily, offers opportunities to explore different aspects of life.
Travel opens our heart and mind like nothing else. Travel offers us experiences that we can never have from your comfort zones. It exposes us to realities we would never come across in the books or in our daily routines.
Travel either brings out our true personalities. It helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses, exposing the true character of people as they face difficulties on the path and come across unexpected situations.
Travel, not tourism
One cannot fathom the diversity of the land or appreciate its people by just visiting tourist spots, witnessing festive celebrations, living in luxury hotels or spending a few weeks in a city or state, taking selfies.
Travelling is a much more immersive interaction with reality, a reality that millions of our own fellow citizens live not too far away from our cosy homes.
Stepping out and stepping down to the grassroots level, where the majority of the people live a lifestyle starkly different from ours, would give us valuable lessons of life.
Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The soul of India lives in its villages!” This statement is as true today as when it was made by our father of nation some 100 years back.
With nearly 70 percent of India still residing in the rural areas, its anyone’s guess where one must head to get an authentic experience of this mysterious and diverse land.
We cannot have the true sense of being Indian unless we visit the villages and experience how the village folks live.
We cannot understand the spirit of India, without understanding the spirit of Indian villagers.
The villages are where the water is as sweet as its people and life as colourful and flavourful as its food.
The people and this magical land are too complex and diverse to ever be comprehended through mere virtual experiences. This pursuit demands an involved and immersive experience that goes much beyond social media filters.
Do we realise how much a farmer goes through to bring food to our table? Do we realise how many hands a food item passes through before it reaches our hands?
How much effort does it take to produce a morsel? What is a luxury for us, is a source of livelihood for many!
The long hours spent on the field daily, the intense labour required irrespective of the weather, choosing the right seeds and techniques of cultivation, weeding, worrying about pests, harvesting, finding markets that will pay them well, a farmer’s job is back breaking and without a break.
Between ploughing and sowing to harvesting and selling, farmers hardly get a breather. Yet, we hardly appreciate the sweat and blood that goes into nurturing the food that we take for granted.
A visit to the farm will not only help us learn about farming techniques and production of food. It will also help us appreciate the hands that feed us and the food that nourishes us.
Creativity is a divinely endowed gift that humans have learnt to express in a diverse way. Handicraft represents the oldest human legacy of divine creativity and no country comes close to India in the sheer range of handmade products.
Despite modernization, the handicraft sector – particularly handloom – is central to India’s rural economy, providing dignified livelihood to millions and maintaining the independence of thousands of households while helping preserve the cultural legacy of India.
Visiting handicraft and handloom clusters will give students insights into an alternative world that they had never imagined.
A visit to the craft clusters will not only expose us to the ancient knowledge and lifestyles, but more importantly, it will help us understand how a relatively small group of people are fighting to keep India’s diversity and ancient legacy alive, battling against the ruthless onslaught of globalization and homogeneity.
According to the renowned 20th century poet and philosopher, Sir Mohammed Iqbal, “history is like a long term memory where the voices of nations are preserved. So, a people without knowledge of history are a people without memory. And people, who cannot remember, obviously cannot benefit from the lessons of history.”
However, history is not something that is confined to textbooks. It is a living reality that each one of us can experience around us through the vestiges of ancient civilisations that continue to survive in our cities and across the country.
Heritage is the foundation on which our life stands and it offers valuable lessons to us that can only be learnt by visiting the places and listening to the tales told by the hallowed walls of the palaces, forts and ancient quarters.
Other places that could be visited for some profound learnings include, gardens, nature reserves, forest safaris, fire stations, markets, museums and slums.
Immersive travel will turn our superficial and media-fuelled perception about life and people on its head.
Travel grants perspective beyond black and white, beyond the rigidity of dogmas and biases. It teaches us that there can be multiple variations of reality; each co-existing with the other, each standing on its own, yet in harmony with the other.
Travel, if done with right mindset and approach, restores one’s faith in humanity.
Visiting different places, meeting a range of people and having various experiences will enrich us with ideas about how things work, how many people work together to make our life possible and how many hands are involved in feeding us.
Travel not only helps us gain knowledge about things around us, but also helps us appreciate and acknowledge every single element involved in making our life better.
Travel certainly makes us better educated!