Museums! Theaters! And… homework?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Watch meteors at the planetarium, admire Water lilies at the Met, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park! Most kids would probably MUCH rather go on field trips than sit in a classroom! But does all that cultural bus time REALLY translate into academic success?
Enter Heidi Erickson from Kennesaw State University and team.
Their study involved more than two thousand elementary school students. Some were randomly assigned to go on artsy field trips over the school year. Others stayed on campus taking classes as usual. The researchers tracked the students’ grades for two years.
Results? Overall, students who attended three field trips scored HIGHER on their course and end-of-grade exams compared to other students! Their attendance also improved in the year after the field trips.
So cutting class for an outside experience doesn’t harm their academic performance. Turns out, exposure to new ideas on trips seems to INCREASE students’ engagement!
Time to Van GOGH get that A!
Reference: Erickson, H. H., Watson, A. R., & Greene, J. P. (2022). An Experimental Evaluation of Culturally Enriching Field Trips. Journal of Human Resources, 1020–11242R1. https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.1020-11242r1