Floating classroom teaches Point University students foundations of education

Published 11:00 am Friday, April 14, 2023

Fourteen Point University students went on a field trip to West Point Lake on the “floating classroom” for their Educational Foundations course on April 4. 

As the end of the course nears, Associate Professor of Education Katura Lesane took her class on the field trip to demonstrate how the future educators can utilize strategies in their own classrooms and one of those is field trips. 

“We went on the field trip with the purpose of seeing how you can apply some of the strategies that we’ve learned in the class to your to that field, that particular field trip,” Lesane said. 

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When they finished the field trip, the students had to create a lesson plan and presentation addressing how it related to different student learning styles, diversity in lessons and constructivism learning theory.

Educational Foundations is a course where students study educational theories, classroom management, classroom setup and other foundational topics.

Chattahoochee Riverkeepers host the Floating Classroom program. Students loaded up on a boat and learned about water quality, conservation and sustainability and local wildlife. The field trip is tailored to each group’s grade level.

“To be honest I came into it like not really knowing what to expect or whatnot, but when we got into it, I really enjoyed it,” said Point student Kristina Faison. “I really liked the diversity and the different types of learning styles that they had on there.”

While they traveled along the lake, the instructor used songs, visual aids and hands-on activities to help students learn about the topics. Faison, who plans to be a third-grade teacher after college, said she would utilize the activity for her future students. 

“It’s a nice interactive way to see things that you don’t usually see and learn things that you don’t always learn about in detail in the classroom,” Faison said. “So it’s nice to go out and do things like that. So I would definitely do that for a third-grade class.”

West Point Lake Floating Classroom Coordinator Anna McNamee ran the field trip. According to Lesane, McNamee was a former teacher. 

“It’s easy for us to take students on a field trip and have them experience it, but when the people who are directing the field trips are educators, so they’re doing some of those best practices that you know our future teachers should demonstrate, it’s a great learning experience,” Lesane said.

Dr. Lacey Southerland, Professor of Education at Point University, introduced the Floating Classroom field trip to the course years ago. The field trip provides hands-on experience with teaching techniques.

“One of the things that Point University does extremely well is teach our students the best practices that we know they need to go out in their classrooms and teach,” Lesane said. “So we could talk about field trips in the classroom, but it’s a very different learning experience when I take you on a field trip to show you how you can do something.”

The field trip also gives the Point students exposure to the area. In their course, they learned the importance of exposing their future students to their community.

“We want them to see how there’s so much locally that they could introduce their students to,” Lesane said. “We talked about in our classroom how some of the students who go to school in the area, they never visit things that are in their community. So exposure for them at a field trip like this, exposure for their students, is important.”