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Is there still value in school field trips?

MIAMI - OCTOBER 01: Kristian Ricardo,11,  (3rd from left) and Christian Ricardo,11, (3rd from right) walk with other homeless children to the school bus as their families continue to try to overcome homelessness while they live at the Homeless Assistance Center October 1, 2008 in Miami, Florida. The brothers along with their parents and four siblings have been living at the center for about a month while their father continues to look for work in the home construction business. As the economy continues to be strained by events on Wall Street and the meltdown in the housing market many organizations that provide help for the homeless are waiting to see what the impact will be. The Homeless Assistance Center helps homeless get off the streets, into permanent housing and more stable lives.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Do students really learn on school field trips?

Field trips are becoming less common in schools across the country. An American Association of School Administrators survey showed that more than half of American schools completely eliminated planned field trips last school year.

Field trips are becoming less common in schools across the country. An American Association of School Administrators survey showed that more than half of American schools completely eliminated planned field trips from the  last school year.

But a recent study from the University of Arkansas found that enrichment or cultural field trips do have a lasting impact on students and an opportunity to add a greater depth to their education. The study looked at over 10,000 students at over 100 schools. The study found that students gained a greater sense of critical thinking, empathy and tolerance from the field trip.

Many schools have cut back on field trips because of budget restraints. Other schools have opted for “reward” focused trips such as outings to the movies in exchange for good test scores.

Do students really learn on field trips? Do you think schools should continue enrichment trips to places like museums and historical sites?  What field trips do you remember as a child?

Guest:

Jay P. Greene, Professor of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas

Sujata Bhatt, Founder and Teacher, The Incubator School 

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