School trips in a context of a learning line of Citizenship Education

1. School/Organization, where the practice is collected:
Wereldschool Pantarijn (World school Pantarijn) is an activity to describe and evaluate all activities which take place besides the official curricula in secondary school in the City of Sciences Wageningen. Together with students and teachers, activities as international trips and excursions, school garden, community internships, activism, social action, and fundraising were presented in context with new objectives and informal ways of evaluation.

2. Description
Many schools in Europe do school trips on a regular base. For some schools it is a tradition that goes back already years. Think about a cultural trip (e.g., a Paris or Rome trip), a sports camp (e.g., ski trip), a trip abroad on the end of secondary school, etc.

Teachers and students of Pantarijn-MHV, together with the Peace Education Foundation of Utrecht, have cohesively shaped citizenship, democracy, and peace education in a learning line. Various activities are covered that were sometimes already present in the school. Teachers were not always aware that, with some adjustments, they belong perfectly under citizenship education.

This project was made possible by the municipality of Wageningen through the Liberation Tourism and Peace Education project. Pupils of Wageningen live and learn in a municipality where peace, freedom and security are regularly discussed: from guest lecture by the mayor to social internships and foreign travel and exchanges. For example, with cities with which Wageningen has town twinning. The great cultural diversity in Wageningen – with 102 nationalities, the municipality with the most nationalities after Amsterdam – also challenges young people to investigate differences in culture and build bridges.

In this case study, we highlight one activity that will be recognizable to many European schools. In particular, how you can fit a traditional school trip into a CE learning line. Now you can travel as a school with a kind of ready-made package. You only visit tourist attractions, do some sports, and have fun together. There is nothing wrong with that, but you will miss something essential for CE. By some adaptations you can turn a 'classic' school trip into a unique experience in Citizenship Education. And that's what the Pantarijn school did.

The process starts already during the preparation phase. In the run-up to the trip there is a selection process in which students specify a destination of their preference based on some research work. These preferences are discussed together before a final choice is made.
Meetings are organized with the tour group and mentors when preparing the trip. Sometimes students prepare a presentation, at other times they make a travel guide about their destination.
During the trip itself, students can be asked to tell something about a topic they have prepared, or they can organize a guided tour for each other.

Communication requires commitment and creativity from the participants. The students have already experienced this during the preparation. But there's more. How do you experience it to tell something for a group about, for example, a Greek temple? Is the population in the country (or region) you are going to open to others or rather closed? Can you communicate in another language? Or do you have to communicate with hands and feet? What do you talk about with locales? By making students aware of the role of communication, you create an additional dimension for CE.

Awareness of your surroundings
While traveling, there are rules and agreements that the participants must adhere to. Have your others wait for you or do you know that there is a tight program with agreed times. Customs and rules also apply in the destination country. What are laws and what are customs? Are you willing to adapt and how do you do that? What are the consequences if you don't?

A trip abroad is a group activity. You must take each other into account. How do you create a sociable and pleasant atmosphere, and a sense of safety as well?
Do you address undesirable behaviour? How do you do it and how do you decide whether behaviour is undesirable or not?

It is useful to investigate beforehand whether there are certain social, ethnic or economic conflicts in a country or region that you visit. In this way, research questions can be addressed during the trip. For example, if you travel to Barcelona, suddenly all the Spanish and Catalan flags in the streets take on a meaning. There are conflicts in all countries. Sometimes it also means looking in the mirror. Due to globalization and mobility, conflicts elsewhere often have a relationship with our own environment.

Meeting the other
Meeting local young people has an important added value during the trip for many young people. In the beginning it often causes some insecurity or embarrassment, but personal encounters can stay with you for a long time. This usually involves contact of young people through schools. But contacts can also take place through the informal sector such as sports and youth work. Doing things together often works better than a group discussion.

3. Assessment:
☒ Yes
☐ No

Permanent evaluation is important for the success of the project.
To start with, peer to peer feedback is an integral part of the project's DNA. Peer to peer is mainly used when arranging all practical activities. The students 'make' the journey together and are aware of the importance of feedback to each other.
In addition, the broader objectives of the trip are also evaluated. When those goals are made together in advance, they make each participant not only responsible but also owner of the trip. The more transparent and clear the goals are, the easier the evaluation can be. To facilitate evaluation, students keep a portfolio. It can contain, for example, photos with captions, personal comments or a report or video of a meeting with the local population. After returning home, such a portfolio is an instrument for evaluating the objectives of the trip all together.