We seek to give our students the possibility of learning in the field. When circumstances allow us to do so, we embark on a field school to the areas surrounding the university during the first semester.
Benefits of a field school
The Centre for Sami Studies has given its students the possibility to learn more about different Sami regions and communities through taking them on field schools in and around Tromsø. The programme is global in its focus, but it is strongly related to the history, people and culture of the region where it is taught.
On a field trip, students are more likely to retain information when being immersed and involved in visual and practical experiences. This will help students remember, learn and understand the theoretical subjects better.
A field trip helps reinforce classroom materials, bringing lessons to life and it offers a unique cultural learning experience. Learning in the field allows students to be involved in new environments, which is key to encouraging curiosity about a given subject. It is also valuable as an exercise in broadening a student’s understanding of the world and their place in it.
Apart from the academic gains of a field school, educational trips encourage the development of social, personal and study skills. We have observed that students appear to come out of their shell during field schools, becoming creative and displaying leadership qualities.
2017 - Field school to the Márka Sami region:
One route of a MIS field school takes students and teachers to the Márka Sami region in Southern Troms/Northern part of Nordland, Bardufoss and Andslimoen, where Sami and non-Sami institutions and organizations are visited.
Education is a topic emphasized at theese field schools, offering visits to the Sami kindergarten Márkomának in Skánit/Skånland, the Sami primary school in Inner Troms and the upper secondary school in Bardufoss.
The students are also introduced to small scale businesses and traditional livelihoods when welcomed by Laila Inga, a reindeer owner at Iinnasuolu/Hinnøya Island. In a deeply insightful and educational way, Laila tells about the challenges and opportunities her family face in their daily work with traditional reindeer husbandry combined with tourism livelihood.
This route continues to Skánit/Skånland and Evenášši/Evenes, where the students meet with the staff at Várdobáiki Sami Centre and the Márkomeannu festival and volunteers working for the Stuornjárga Sámi Duodji Association. This is an introduction to the history of the region, language and cultural revitalization initiatives with a focus on how important institutions and organizations are for this development.
Participating in this field trip, one student noted, "just as we travelled through the landscape on the excursion, we also travelled through the history, and thus the process of institutions built by and for the Márka Sámi on their historical lands and in their communities" (Amanda Fayant, 2017).
Pictures from one of the Márka Sami Field Trips:
Read about and see pictures from MIS Field School 2020
Read about and see pictures from MIS Field School 2018
Read about and see pictures from MIS Field School 2015