A short review of school field trips: Key findings from the past and implications for the future

Jennifer Eileen Dewitt, Martin Storksdieck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review of the literature on field trips to out-of-school settings will briefly summarize key findings and discuss implications for future research and field trip practice. Cognitive and affective learning can occur as a result of class visits to out-of-school settings, and learning outcomes are fundamentally influenced by the structure of the field trip, setting novelty, prior knowledge and interest of the students, the social context of the visit, teacher agendas, student experiences during the field trip, and the presence or absence and quality of preparation and follow-up. Field trips, however, are not ideal for teaching complex concepts or even isolated facts, they are not “better classroom settings”; instead, they serve best as opportunities for exploration, discovery, first-hand and original experiences. Despite systemic pressures to the contrary, teachers and informal educators tend to agree on this broader vision of field trips and this article makes a variety of suggestions for putting such a vision into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-197
Number of pages17
JournalVisitor Studies
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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