Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Veronesi

Abstract

The purpose of field trips is to engage students in hands on or real world learning opportunities. Science fairs and field trips are two examples of how students can experience out of classroom activities. Through these activities, students may understand or practice an aspect of a topic as experienced in the real world, outside of the school setting (Tal, et. al., 2014); exploring skills and physical beings, having discussions with historians or scientists, and synthesizing or analyzing information (Rohlf, 2015). Especially in science, new technology and knowledge is ever changing. Field trips allow students to practice or use technology that many schools or organizations are unable to purchase for student use.

Many students’ families cannot provide or support students’ learning by taking them to outside learning events or activities (DeSouza, 2016). Through expeditionary learning, or field trips, that are available to students in school or through after school programs, all students are able to experience how individuals of all races and backgrounds can work together to form a successful scientific environment.

By having students attend field trips, they not only are learning about science, but are practicing other life skills such as communication (Bozdogan, 2012). Students not only need to communicate with each other during tasks or about observations, but often need to communicate teachers or research guides. Communication skills are essential for all students whether they enter the science field after the completion of high school or not. Furthermore, field trips allow students to pursue areas of interest and may influence their entrance into the STEM field post- high school (Schmidt & Kelter, 2017).

Field trips allow students to experience aspects of learning that are not able to be practiced in the classroom setting (Rohlf, 2015). Although all of the aforementioned are beneficial for students and their learning, field trips are often still questioned for their integrity. Learning, balanced with fun, is the basis of the concern; do students actually learn on field trips or does the fun atmosphere overtake student learning?

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