On 21st April, JJC’s Humanities Department organized an investigative field trip for over a 100 students studying Economics, Geography or History. Named “Humanities Jalan-Jalan”, this field trip aimed to expose students to interdisciplinary perspectives, train their observation skills and also help them to learn more about the Boon Lay neighbourhood.
Three locations were chosen for the field trip, and these included the rooftop garden of the multi-storey carpark opposite JJC, Boon Lay Shopping Centre and HDB rental blocks (Block 177 area). Each location allowed participants to focus on one authentic social issue. Students discussed social equity at the rental blocks; urban sustainability at the rooftop garden; and social and recreational life at Boon Lay Shopping Centre.
Participants were provided tasks in a learning journal, and they utilized perspectives of different subjects to complete them. Each group of participants also consisted of students from all the 3 subjects so that they could pool their respective disciplinary knowledge together. Their final products took the form of photos accompanied by explanations, and these were uploaded to Padlet, an online sharing platform. In addition, some selected groups produced short videos about Boon Lay Shopping Centre which documented the economic and social aspects of the place.
After the field trip, students returned to school where some selected groups shared their work and also screened the videos which they had produced. Students enjoyed the authentic experiential learning as well as learnt some new facts about the Boon Lay neighbourhood.
In today’s world, interdisciplinary learning is valuable because real-world issues are complex, and cuts across multiple facets. No issue can be neatly defined by a single discipline or point of view. By recognizing the importance of addressing issues from multiple perspectives, our students would be more prepared to deal with such challenges in the future, be it in the university or workplace. We hope this experience provided JJ students an opportunity to collaborate with one another and see the connections between what they learn in class and the broader social context they are part of.