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The Effects of Field Trip on the Teaching and Learning of Geography in Limbe Municipality

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1.0 Introduction

The effect of field trip on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe 1 municipality. This chapter covers the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, hypotheses significance of the study, scope of the study and the operational definition of terms.


1.1 Background of the Study

The quality of geography education is of great concern for stakeholders in education including educators, teachers’, parents and students.

Geography is one of the activity based school subject, the effectiveness of teaching in school can be measured by examining the method of teaching applied by teacher and the achievement of students in the school examination.

In the measurement of students’ academic achievement in geography as a school subject, various task are under taken within and outside the classroom, the effectiveness of these activities lie in the instructional method used by the teacher.

For the students of geography to achieve the best in the subject, teachers are expected to organize field visitation (field work). Educational visits may be organized to suitable places where fundamental concepts, ecological process or events treated in the classroom become clearer to the students with great comprehension.

This is because field trips generally appeal to the sense of sight, touch and hearing. Organized visits to the river side or any geographical phenomenon make the students to see in practical what was theoretically explained and learnt by them in the classroom under the guidance of a teacher or an instructor for the purpose of achieving permanency of learning experience.

Field trip strategy is a method of teaching which helps to bring about an effective learning of geography. Fieldtrip is far from just dishing out point to students as in traditional lecture method, where the teacher simply become the expositor and drill master while the learner remains the listener and a store house of facts that can be retrieved when a student hear his name called by the teacher Oganwu (2004).

This is not to say that the traditional lecture method is completely unproductive but there exits a difference between them. Fieldtrip is activity-based which offers opportunity for learners to get first-hand information on people, places and things in order to concretize learning experience.

According to Duvall and Krepel (1981), field trip is an outdoor or fieldwork or learning exercise undertaken by the teacher and the students in certain aspect of subject, particularly in geography by the school and undertaken for educational opportunity to acquire knowledge. It is a trip arrange by the school and undertaken for educational purpose in which the students go to places where the concepts for instruction may be observed and studied directly in their functional setting.

Field trip is one of the major constructivist methods of teaching and learning. The teaching strategy is student-centered and student-directed. Teachers simply facilitate the learning task. The method allows the learner to learn through participation and observation in the learning process.

Through interaction with others, learners come to understand what is being learned in the permanent way. This attempt is to shift from teacher-centered to learner-centered mode of teaching Field trips are far from new. Teachers have been incorporating them into their teaching methods for years because they enable students to experience the real that is physical world.

Given their potential for affecting achievement, the topic of field trips has been the focus of many research studies Hofstein and Rosenfield (1996) Koran and Baker (1979).Lovedahl and Tesolowski(1986). These studies have primarily involved physical field trips that augment instruction.

In expository settings, teachers often discuss the real world in highly idealized terms. Soil horizons are perfectly delineated, global wind patterns are perfectly uniform, and estuaries show a perfect zonation from freshwater to brackish to marine.

A physical field trip allows students to experience the much more serendipitous nature of the real world. Students can follow different pathways and discover what piques their interests, making the field experience a discovery-prone situation.

When teaching a course that focuses on environmental science, it is a logical extension to use the outdoors as a classroom because the discipline is field-oriented by definition. Although there are benefits to a physical field trip, there are drawbacks as well. Potential hurdles include large student numbers, high costs, liability, inclement weather, and variability in experience and knowledge of field demonstrators.

These drawbacks can be overcome with virtual field trips, which enable students to have an experience, albeit a limited one, that would not otherwise be possible. Because of rapid technological advances and virtual reality environments, students can now explore the Antarctic, the continental shelf, and the inside of a human body.

A virtual field trip is a guided exploration through the World Wide Web that organizes a collection of pre-screened, thematically based web pages into a structured online learning experience Foley (2003). A virtual field trip does not provide the same experiences as a physical trip into the field.

It represents a compromise, a set of distilled experiences designed to mimic the real thing. Students do not actually get their feet wet or dig into the mud in search of bivalves.

They do, however, move through a series of interactive experiences that can be designed and controlled for maximizing learning. One cannot count on encountering an injured manatee, a nesting sea turtle, or a burrowing gopher tortoise on a physical field trip; however, on a virtual field trip these encounters can be guaranteed.

Historical background

Every society has its own system of education. Indigenous African society had their own way or system of training their young children before the coming of Western education. This was done through field work. Education therefore helps to develop a child, physical, affective and psychomotor domain which has been influenced by a conducive location for learning in or out of the school premises.

For over four decades, series of studies have suggested the importance of field trip to students learning. Some of these studies are examined out of classroom studies at times to translate theories into practices.

Omoyemi(1978) discovered that locations of schools were not based on sound principles of learning, so most at times learners have to go out of the school location to experience what is not found in the school.

Generally, education is the sum total of a person’s learning experiences during his or her lifetime. Education helps people to understand themselves, other people and their environment. It also enables them to change and improve their society.

Before the coming of the formal education, the indigenous system of education was based on practices or field study in Cameroon that was the pre-colonial era (1844-1884).

Here the issue of a peer was little or less occurring as the young adult learned only from the elderly were knowledge, experience and attitude were mostly transferred from the old to the young. The coming of the missionaries in Cameroon gives the birth of formal education which the first school was created in Bimbia by Joseph Merrick in 1884.

During the colonial period, Cameroon was introducing to the formal system of education where by children, young adult, where taught in the same setting and also taken out for field work to experienced what was taught in the classroom. This encouraged peer interaction as the learner forms clicks of their respective age group.

According to Castrogiovanni (2OO2) a peer group is defined as grouped of similar aged of fairly close friends sharing the same activities in the environment provide a sense of security and also build the self-identity when going out for field study.

Students are been expose to interested learning location which turn to increase their understanding during learning. The social infrastructure such as libraries, laboratories, museum, recreational parks, zoos, mountains and transports also play an important role to students learning when they go out for field trip to some of these places.

Contextual Background

Cached (1976) refers to site’s building, furniture and equipment that contribute to learning environment where he said If a school is not well furnished students will not love to be in class and if there is no learning material It will slow down learning process, hence reducing students’ academic performance, which can be improve by field trips.

During field trips in limbe the entire classes’ usually visit instructional points like mountains, rivers and beaches. Tambo (2012) says that the obstacles on the system of secondary education by the undesired effect of the economic crisis were enormous and include the inability to cope with the large cities and under socialized zones.

Consequently, insufficiency of the accommodating structures in schools, shortage of teaching personnel, gross lack of logistic support, massive departure of teachers without being replaced and inadequate didactic materials. From the views of educators, there is lack of classroom, teachers and teaching materials and ineffective pedagogic control, which has turn to improve the love for field trip from all sectors of education.

Mbua (1983) argues that conversely, a good academic mental performance and the environment should not only have adequate environment also adequate teaching-learning materials and enough space for physical exercise and mental development which leads to progress in the school.

For example, Arnold et al (2005) using descriptive statistics from the National Education Longitudinal Study of (1988) NELS (1988), examined educational aspirations and postsecondary access by students in ur¬ban and rural schools desired for going for field trip.

Making a critical analysis of location factors, Hallak (1977) surmised that, provision of education in rural areas is normally fraught with the following difficulties and problems, which turn to limits the desires and love to go for field trip more than their urban friends,

Balogun (1982) lamented that unfortunately in Nigeria, where there is a preponderance of poverty among us populace and a wide gap between the rich and the poor, disparity in the distribution of resources and social amenities on the part of the government, the population has polarized into two of those who favorably affected and those who are disfavored these two groups have been forced on economic reasons and levels of education to organize themselves into two different sub geographical locations to a very large extent determine what amenities and or facilities are made available to each for learning.

The above findings were corroborated by Mbakwe(1986) when he affirmed that, teachers are differential; those from locations with amenities such as limbe will prefer more to take learners for field trip than those from areas with fewer amenities.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Field trip has been a major aspect to bring the learning done in the classroom to the reach of students. Learners in the past had little or no opportunity to practical learning than now. Husde (2001) examined educational aspirations and post-secondary access by students in urban and rural schools to influence field trip or not in the United States of America.

Making a critical analysis of location factors to field trip and also due to my teaching practices, observational experiences, students or learners are being refused the privileges to go for field trip, this cause them to limit their learning or understanding during teaching.

Even though some schools try to carry out field trip they may not be well organizing as a results of the political instability of the area of study.

But on the fact that students learning geography don’t have a significant difference in their learning outcome compared to the students in the past, this has prompt the researcher to carry out this study on the topic, the effect of field trip on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe 1 municipality.


1.3 Objectives of Study

1.3.1 General Objective

The general objective of this study is to investigate the effect of field trips on the teaching and learning of geography in LimbeI municipality.

1.3.2 Specific Objective

The research is aimed at finding out;

  1. The effects of laboratory learning on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe I municipality.
  2. The influence of geographical site on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe I municipality.
  3. The effects of school museum on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe I municipality.
  4. The effect of outdoors learning on the teaching and learning of geography in Limbe I municipality.
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