Gallia teachers embark on field studies

GALLIPOLIS — Teachers in Gallia County schools are taking part in what could be called an “interesting program” this year.

Teachers from around the county are participating in “National Field Studies Trips” to various locations across the country.

According to Dr. Denise Shockley, superintendent of the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center, the trips serve as a way to allow teachers to compare the history of Ohio and its culture to the history and culture of other regions in the United States. Dr. Shockley said the teachers returned from a five-day trip across Kentucky visiting a number of historical homes and important landmarks. The places visited include the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky State House.

Dr. Shockley said the State House visit was particularly interesting as they visited it in the middle of a controversy surrounding the statue of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, which sits in the rotunda. Due to the recent controversy regarding the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina capitol, many feel that the statue should be moved elsewhere. The teachers were encouraged to write reflections about their experiences while on the trip.

Dr. Shockley also said the teachers had most recently returned from a trip to Texas, where they examined foreign and domestic policy and the historical implications of Texas and Mexico. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Dealey Plaza.

“They got to stand on the X that marked where President Kennedy was shot. It was an extremely emotional moment for them,” Shockley said.

They also visited the Institute of Ethnic Culture, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Alamo and experienced the local food such as quail and elk steak.

Dr. Shockley said the program is extremely popular and there is currently a waiting list to sign up for the program.

“The best experience for teachers is to experience the material they are teaching for themselves,” she said.

She added that more field study trips are planned for September.