Uncovering the cross-curricular benefits of a school trip to New York

Published: August 19th 2015

Student in New York | Travelbound

A city of dreams, the gateway to America and one of the nation’s most significant cities, New York has long drawn those from around the globe. The city still stands for being the definitive melting pot of cultures where it’s possible to reinvent yourself and work towards the American dream. For schools seeking an enriching educational tour, New York City extends a hand to teachers in providing a broad range of interesting and insightful visits that build upon both knowledge within the subject content and aims across the curriculum. Here we take a look at what The Empire City has to offer in uncovering the benefits of a school trip to New York. 

Defining the American culture

For UK schools, the focus of a study tour to New York sits far from a study of languages and traditions students can expect from a trip to the sun-baked region of Andalucia or exotic Morocco. However, while the UK and United States may share a language and the atypical western philosophy, the American culture can be characterised by its history and politics. Whether you’re looking to trace the Native American cultures at the National Museum of the American Indian; carrying out a study of origins of the United States at the Fraunces Tavern Museum; or identifying the impact of mass immigration in the early 20th century from the accounts provided at the Ellis Island Immigration Centre, New York provides schools with a wealth of resources to engage your students in their learning on significant periods throughout U.S. history.

Curve at the Brooklyn Terminal, c.1890 | New York | MCNY

Making the connections through historical perspectives

Intertwined with this timeline of American history is the importance of politics during this period and its interconnections with other world developments. From George Washington’s time as the first President of the United States to developments of the USA through the 20th century, New York features as the ideal location for exploring these subjects and ascertaining the value of these historical sources. By diving into historical enquiry and being able to engage with the evidence, learning is made real for students and encourages them to make connections between international, national and regional history. 

Understanding the process of change in New York helps students understand the important role this city has played in the establishment of the nation. The Museum of the City of New York offers a great starting point to explore various themes, including history, politics, economic development, and architecture. It provides the ideal platform to link historical events, including key periods of social activism, with what we interpret today to be present-day customs.

The dominating New York skyline | Travelbound

Business at the core of the Big Apple

There are opportunities to extend learning on changes in the U.S. through examining cause and consequence of events in the contemporary period history. Those taking business studies can enjoy a visit to the Wall Street area to learn more about the global impact of New York’s big banks, financiers and stock exchange and how they have contributed to the United States’ position as a global superpower.  A trip to the Federal Reserve allows students to interact with a multimedia experience where they can track hypothetical trades. Aiding this understanding of international relations and trade, the One World Trade Center provides a history of this important building in New York. Similarly, the Museum of American Finance acts as an alternative to the now non-running New York Stock Exchange tours, which became prohibited following 9/11, while providing students with a great chance to take on interactive exhibits that build upon key skills required in the banking sector. The list could go on with the chance to add unique learning opportunities and true value to your educational tour seeming limitless. Flexibility in tailoring your tour comes in the form of a variety of available excursions to suit your educational aims. 

Photo opportunity with New York's boys in blue | Travelbound

Studying past events to understand its present day impact

New York has also come to symbolise the kick-start of a new critical phase in history with a global impact. Providing schools with a chance engage with an international study of a short-term timescale, a visit to the National 9/11 Memorial seems a fitting start to comprehend the effects of September 11th 2001. This moving and fitting tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings also highlights the scale of the area affected. Students can deepen their understanding of 9/11 and its ripple effect worldwide to a heightened awareness of terrorism at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. A combination of multimedia displays, archive footage and artefacts present a powerful account of the day. Students will be able to put into context the fallout leading to the war in Afghanistan and carryover to Iraq. In studying this period, students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the important role politics has played in the late-modern period and present-day climate. 

A school trip to inspire learners

There are simply some experiences that cannot be replicated in your school’s locality. Portsmouth may have the Spinnaker Tower, London may have The Shard, but it sometimes takes a breathtaking view across Manhattan from the Top of the Rock viewing platform at the Rockefeller Center to appreciate New York for all it holds. The experience extends beyond attainment levels to provide students with an eye-opening moment to enjoy a new environment. The Empire State Building provides an equally jaw-dropping feeling with the iconic building representing New York’s impressive high-tower skyline. The Art Deco symbol of the Empire State Building is enveloped in its own history and prominence which students can engage with thanks to handheld devices acting as an audio and visual companion. These two high-rise locations provide a unique chance for students to see the concrete jungle from above its canopy and for which an educational visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without.  

For the learner, the City of New York transforms into an outdoor museum mapped on a [albeit grander scaled] library grid system simply bursting with historic and noteworthy landmarks. Whether you are on the hunt for a business studies school trip or a history study tour to extend the learning of your students outside the classroom, New York is packed with beneficial points of interest. With endless cross-curricular opportunities found in an educational visit to New York, the chance to bring your students together across multiple disciplines means teachers have a greater scope to cover more curriculum goals while taking their students to one of the greatest cities in the world. 

Students on the New York Subway System | Travelbound

To find out more about school cross-curricular trips to New York simply request a quote or contact the team on 01273 265265.

By Tim Jenkins

 

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