Busloads of kids get surprise trip to Toys”R”Us

Today the post is NOT an advertisement for Toys”R”Us, it is rather a horrifying realization that it is viewed acceptable by this multimillion dollar corporations choice of “props” as a ploy for the children without the thought of insulting an entire profession or the positive role field trips play in the lives of children. The bus is covered over with the “Meet the Trees Foundation” so the students think they are going into nature and have activities related to trees. When I was teaching in the inner city, this was a highlight of the year to go to the county, hike and wade into the Chesapeake Bay. Many of the children had not EVER set foot into a natural source of water prior to this trip or seen trees growing outside of the ones planned along the city sidewalks. Research like that of Bryan Rebar (Associate Director; STEM CORE at University of Oregon) supports the importance of the role field trips play in meaning making for young learners. To use this with such disregard in advertising, is appalling to me as an educator and free choice learner researcher. I encourage you to watch the video and form your own views. There is an open letter to Toys “R” Us from North American Association for Environmental Education – NAAEE if you would like to follow this further. I look forward to your comments below.