How USA West Coast School Tours Bring Glamour to History

How USA West Coast School Tours Bring Glamour to History

The pages of history books and celebrity gossip websites seem poles apart. One is embedded in the past, the other the present; one is focused on sombre reflection, the other passing fancy; one is all about education, the other entertainment. But there is at least one place on earth where glitz and glamour meet history in a fascinating union, making it an ideal place to engage young students and encourage learning in the most unexpected way.

The History of Hollywood

The West Coast of the USA draws thousands of visitors who come for all sorts of reasons. Some come for the good weather, others come for the diverse culture, and still others come because this is the home of Hollywood and all it stands for in global terms. Students on school tours to the area will no doubt be scintillated by the thought of visiting the many studios and haunts of stars that litter the streets of Los Angeles. However, they’ll also have the chance to dig deeper and understand that this glitz and glamour has a storied and starry past. The social and cultural history of Hollywood is as rich and complex as any, and just so happens to have all the gloss of the most fanciful fan magazine so attractive to young people

The Birth of Alternative Fashion

Some students on school tours to America may not have much patience for the glossy life of stars and starlets, past or present. Some may be more intrigued by alternative fashion and music. The West Coast of the USA is an iconic beacon for so much of what has been described as ‘alternative culture’ the world over. From the nooks and crannies of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco to the boardwalks and boulevards of Santa Monica and Hollywood, students will be intrigued to learn how so much of the world’s art, architecture, music and iconography has been shaped, challenged and rechallenged here.

The Heart of Modern Glamour

The nature of the modern celebrity news cycle is that it spins almost too quickly to be called news at all. A story has legs for mere hours before it needs to be re-fed with new gossip. While this may seem a far cry from the educational purposes intrinsic to school tours, the fact is that the social and cultural phenomenon of fame is a great lens through which students can grapple with politics, cultural studies, urban geography, news media and the arts. And there are few better places than the West Coast for students to come face to face with this, especially in the realm of fashion and clothing.

The Place to Understand Trends, Fads and Fame

It can be very useful for students to become critical thinkers of glamour and fame rather than passive consumers of its content. This lesson can fly over their heads when coming from teachers in classrooms, but when they are confronted on school tours with some of the more business-like and sobering realities of the world behind the trends, fads and fame they see on their screens, they can begin to work their own minds. The West Coast is the hub where this encounter can happen and can often lead to illuminating insights.