What We’re Watching: Do Field Trips Have Educational Value? – by Education Next

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 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