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U.S. History Trip to Boston: Education Beyond the Classroom

Gary Todd
Plymouth Village House

Some things, most things, cannot be learned from a textbook. Life’s most important lessons can only be learned through experience, and at Hun, those experiences are offered. Experiential learning is at the core of Hun’s academics; instead of having students analyze page after page of history, they get to reenact it and see it firsthand. Not only does this help students develop a true understanding of a topic, it also incentivizes them to want to keep learning more. Through opportunities like class trips, more questions are asked, more fun is had, and so much more is learned.

Mr. Hews, the head of the Upper School and a teacher in the History Department, recently took both of his U.S. History Honors classes to Boston. While on the trip, students got to see Plymouth Plantation where the original settlers came in 1620, interview museum employees that act as if they are living in the time period that they represent, and reenact the Boston Tea Party. Students also got to visit Salem where the Witch Trials took place, the Battlefield of Lexington, and the Boston Massacre Museum. In addition, students had no-technology dinners in order to connect with one another, visited a Haunted House, went to the top of the Prudential Center, and enjoyed free time where they could engage in some golf, visit stores, and explore the beautiful city of Boston. 

Mr. Hews says, “I really see a difference in the way the class relates to each other after a trip. They get to know their teacher and their fellow students, and that changes the way they interact with one another in the classroom.” Over the course of the long-weekend, students were able to bond with one another and form relationships that will lead to more confidence, collaboration, and understanding. Mr. Hews is a firm believer that the real world should be used inside the classroom and that experiential learning is much more impactful and memorable than sitting and reading at a desk.

Mr. Hews’ love for History stems from his love of sharing stories of the past in order to understand how they have shaped the present. More than that, he loves teaching kids to love learning through his teachings of important skills like creativity and critical thinking. His understanding of how to engage his students makes his class loved by all; his philosophy that people should learn by living instead of by studying the lives of others opens up an entire world of possibilities for students at Hun, and he has every intention of helping them see as much of the world as possible. Throughout the rest of the school year, Mr. Hews’ class has many more trips to look forward to and much more fun to be had. 

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