Academic journal article Researchers World

Visibility of Environmental Features in Selected Philippine Museums: The Relevance of Educational Field Trips in History Teaching

Academic journal article Researchers World

Visibility of Environmental Features in Selected Philippine Museums: The Relevance of Educational Field Trips in History Teaching

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Museum visits have been integrated to the curriculum as valid activities. They are meant to enhance classroom instruction in the field of history. Recently published textbooks on Philippine History have incorporated in their framework the importance of geography, geology, and the environment in the understanding of the historical process. The environmental shift in historical studies is gaining ground. This paper highlights facets of the history-environment interplay as perceived by History 1 students of UP Los Baños in fieldtrips held during the first semester, 2009-2010. The research problem is focused on the visibility of selected features of the environment, namely: plains, forests, sea, rivers, mountains, and lakes. The museums involved in the study were the Veterans Federation of the Philippines' Museum, Library, Archives and Theatre, the Ayala Museum, the Katipunan Museum, the Manuel Quezon Memorial Shrine, and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani/Heroes Monument.

Majority of the participants acknowledged the efforts of the museums in providing links between history and the physical environment. Of the 265 students, 131 or 49.4% of the participants found the museums successful in showing the connection between history and the environment; 103 (38.9%) very successful; 27 (10.2%) moderately successful; 1 (0.4%) slightly successful and 1 (0.4%) not successful. They also evaluated the importance of the environment in shaping historical events as highly important in both Ayala Museum and Veterans Museum; important for Museo ng Katipunan; slightly important for Quezon Memorial Museum; and not important for the Bantayog Museum. Furthermore, the students made an assessment that the off-campus undertaking was a successful pedagogical strategy.

Keywords: museum, fieldtrip, history, and environment.

INTRODUCTION:

As an academic course, history's relevance has always been affirmed in the curriculum because of its connection with citizenship and identity formation (Diokno 2009). However, it does not always enjoy a high degree of popularity (Galang 1983/1984). The four corners of the classroom appear to be limited to make the delivery of knowledge on Philippine history alive. As part of the revitalization of the General Education courses of the University of the Philippines, the teaching of History 1 (Philippine History) in the Los Baños campus has undergone major changes in the last ten years. One of the distinct features that have been introduced is the one-day off-campus educational trip. Officially, it was incorporated as part of the new course outline for the revitalized History 1 in 2002. The realization that field trips can be important in enhancing historical knowledge was highlighted during the twin centennials of the Philippine Revolution in 1996 and the Proclamation of Philippine Independence in 1998. The University of the Philippines System launched a series of field trips/lakbay-aral meant to commemorate these watershed events. Participants were drawn from the faculty and staff of the various campuses of the University. Inspired by this initiative, faculty members teaching History 1 in UP Los Baños decided to incorporate field trips in their syllabi as an optional activity for the students.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE:

Museums have become important learning centers and partners in the educational system (Arinze 1999). There is an increasing need to integrate culture and the arts in the educational process (Nuzzaci 2006). Levesque (n.d.) stressed that visiting museums for purposes of developing students' historical understanding is extremely useful. A museum visit synthesizes three dimensions: the museological, the educational, and the social. According to Allard and Larouche (1998): The museological dimension clearly refers to the museum, as experienced by the visitor and to interactions between the latter and the works and objects exhibited. The educational field dimension refers to the discipline that the museum espouses by choosing to present objects of an artistic, historic, scientific or other nature. …

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