Why Field Trips? Liberal Studies Students Visit the Broad, LACMA
By Juleen Packard, instructor, Liberal Studies Department
Photo credit: Juleen Packard
In April, students in the Liberal Studies Department’s Visual Arts for the Elementary Classroom course spent the day exploring two of Los Angeles’s most renowned art museums.
The first stop was at the recently opened Broad, located in downtown LA. The museum was designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro and is located next door to the Disney concert hall — a structure of smooth, slick, shiny undulating lines, which runs counter to the Broad, a boxy, angular, porous building that you want to peek in and out of. Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad own the collection of contemporary art inside of the Broad.
The second stop was the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which is located in west LA. Although the trip to LACMA was shortened, our students were able to visit a few of the museum’s floors and interact with some of the installation pieces inside.
During the day, the students were given an assignment that asked them to choose a piece of art, analyze it, write down their thoughts, and, finally, sketch the piece to become more familiar with its design elements.
It was wonderful to see our students experience such amazing pieces of art in person. For many of them, it was their first visit to an art museum.
Overall, students reported that the trip was an enriching experience that was well worth the time and effort. Which brings us to the question of field trips, why?
At Cal Poly, students Learn by Doing. As future educators, our liberal studies students must recognize that culturally enriching field trips can be used as tools to acquire knowledge, enhance critical thinking skills, and, most importantly, gain appreciation of the world we live in.