What We’re Watching: Do Field Trips Have Educational Value?

Field trips can get pushed aside when schools decide to focus on math and reading skills in order to boost standardized test scores. Is anything lost as a result?

In this 60-second video produced by AEI, Rick Hess takes a look at rigorous research by University of Arkansas professor Jay Greene and colleagues on the benefits of culturally enriching field trips.

Jay Greene’s first study on this topic, co-authored with Brian Kisida and Daniel Bowen, was “The Educational Value of Field Trips,” which appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Education Next.

Here is what the study found:

We find that students learn quite a lot. In particular, enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.

A second study, “Learning from Live Theater,” by Jay Greene and other co-authors looked at the impact of taking students to see live theatrical performances.

Rick Hess interviewed Jay Greene about this research here.

— Education Next

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