Why Is One School Taking a Field Trip to Walmart?

It could be a learning experience, but not the way they're doing it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2011 12:01 PM CST
Exterior of Walmart in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Field trips just aren’t what they used to be. Case in point: In his Roanoke Times column, Dan Casey points to an elementary school field trip to … a Walmart opening. “It’s an experience form of field trip,” the principal explains to him, because the students will be performing at the store and “performance is a form of learning.” Hooey, writes Casey: The only learning experience this will be is “a cheap and tawdry one that titillates the most base instincts of consumerism.”

Instead, he recommends the students watch Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, and learn about how the company has run mom-and-pop stores out of business and turned small-town centers into “ghost towns.” The kids should be taught about Walmart employees, who earn “lower wages that left them eligible for food stamps and Medicaid benefits for their children.” That would be a better learning experience, he figures, than treating “the grand opening of a Super Walmart as if it was a presage to an Independence Day parade outside an American Legion hall.”

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