Why parents should allow kids to go for field trips

According to a new study led by Brigham Young University, students who participate in multiple field trips during the school year have higher test scores, perform better in the classroom and have increased cultural conscientiousness over time. . The study was published in the journal ‘The Journal of Human Resources’.

School field trips have been part of the educational experience for children across the country for decades. While many school administrators believe that there is intrinsic value in developing students socially with experiences outside the classroom, the impact and value of field trips are difficult to measure. And for teachers providing a good education amid the pandemic, it can be cumbersome to justify the time out of the classroom.

As such, many art venues, science museums and zoos have reported a drop in field trip attendance. Teachers and students have also reported a decreasing amount of school-sponsored visits, particularly for minority students in academically underperforming schools.

Lead author Heidi Holmes Erickson, assistant professor of educational leadership at BYU, said, “In contrast to practice, where schools, facing accountability pressures, trade extra-curricular for increased seat time, we found that Taking time out of class doesn’t hurt academics.” of study.

“It is possible to expose students to a wider world and have a culturally rich curriculum without sacrificing academic results, and this can actually improve academic outcomes,” he said. The study used an experimental design and randomly assigned fifteen fourth and fifth graders from elementary schools in Atlanta, Georgia, to participate in three culturally rich field trips over the course of one school year. Field trips included a visit to an art museum, a live theater performance, and a symphony concert.

Students who participated in three separate field trips in fourth or fifth grade scored higher on grade-of-grade exams, received higher course grades, were absent less frequently and had fewer behavioral violations. These benefits were strongest when students entered middle school.

“We hypothesized that field trips would not hurt test scores. However, we began to see academic improvement and felt that students who took part in these field trips were doing better in the classroom.” “One possible reason for this is that field trips expand students’ concepts of the world and expose them to new ideas. Likewise. Field trips allow students to be more engaged in school. Students find school more exciting.” And they want to put more effort into the classroom.”

In addition to academic improvements, students who participated in multiple field trips 12 percent of the standard deviation were more likely to express a desire to consume art in the future and were more likely to agree with statements of about 14 percent of the standard deviation. , “I believe that people can have different opinions about the same thing.”

Researchers said this is further evidence that field trips are beneficial not only for academic success but also for personal character development. “Parents are very interested in the academic quality of their child’s school, but they are also interested in the social skills and habits of social engagement they develop.

Cultural field trips are easy ways to help facilitate both,” the researchers said. Erikson said she hopes the study will be a resource for policy makers and school principals to help children learn more about the school experience. When considered in the context of the pandemic, she said this research should be of caution for administrators who are considering eliminating opportunities outside the class.

“Field trips have been non-existent for the past two years, and many cultural institutions such as museums and science centers have been closed. Schools want to address the learning loss from the pandemic and may feel pressured to sacrifice a well-rounded education for increased seat-times,” Eriksson said.

“Field trips may be the first thing to go. Addressing student learning losses is important, but schools must be thoughtful in their approach,” she concluded.

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