Australian School Activities: Field Trips

Figure 1.--Here we see an early Australian school field trip. The photo was taken at Sydney Showground during the Australian Manufacturers' Exhibition that took place in December 1927. The boys attended the Fort Street School, a Sydney primary school. They had a school excursion to the Exhibition. They are learning about the manufacture of Akubra hats from rabbit fur. Akubra is an Australian hats factory. Notice that almost all the boys wear suits, both short pants and knicker suits. Interwestinglu, no one wears a British-style peaked school cap. Rather they are wearing what look more likeflat xcaps, except for the boys trying on Akaruba hats. About half of the boys come to school barefoot. Source: Library of NSW: hood_06300.

Field trips are a popular part of school programs in Australia as is the case in most modern school systems. We do not know when schools began organizing field trips. We note a few before Wold war II. The Fort Street School boys here in 1927 are an example (figure 1). We do not believe that field reips were very common before World War II. A problem at the time would have been trasport. School buses were not common, neither did many of the children the children have a lot of money to pay for transportation. And as many children were barefoot, they could not have walked long distances. This changed after World War II as personal incomes rose as well as school budgets rose. Field trips are now a standard part of the school program. Trips to museums, parks, zoos, fairs, exhibitions, and other interesting sites became common place. Younger children might go to fire stations or other sites that interest the children. School busses are not as common as in America, but with the growth of suburbia and the closing of small rural schools are much more common. Thus the problem of transport is now more easily resolved. And municipal transport is also available, althoughh more complicated than school busses.


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Created: 4:58 AM 9/10/2011
Last updated: 4:58 AM 9/10/2011