Ferris Bueller's Style of Training

Many of my generation think back fondly to the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  It is a story of the popular yet rebelious teenager who skips school to go on an adventure in the city of Chicago with his best friend and his girlfriend.  Throughout the film, the school principle is one step behind them trying to catch them in the act of ditching school.  Of course it almost goes without saying that Ferris, like all kids from the 80s, is much smarter than the principle of the school and manages to avoid Mr. Rooney with ease.

When I reflect on the film now as an adult and professional within the adult training field, I actually see an interesting thing occur in the film.  Ferris and his two friends actually receive a great education by skipping school, and there is an interesting sub message within the film.  In fact, Ferris and his two friends could easily have experienced many of the things on their day off during a class field trip.  I'm sure they experienced and learned more than their fellow students who were back in school listening to Ben Stein's lecture about the great depression.

During their trip they visited the Sears Tower and learned about it's enormous height and how it was built, Saw the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and witnessed how commodities are traded, They visited the Art Institute of Chicago and saw many famous works of art.  I dare say they learned a great deal about themselves as well.  They explored their own feelings about themselves and one another and what the future has in store for them.  The Irony is that their principle spends all this time trying to catch up with them so he could ultimately return them to the environment of books and classrooms where they likely wouldn't have learned all that much.

As teachers and trainers we should look to Ferris Bueller and get out of the text books and classrooms and get our students to truly experience life.  They will learn so much more than just what they read in books and lesson guides.