Research shows that field trips enhance student learning.
Sarah Lawrence College graduate student in the Art of Teaching program Lars Freeman conducted observations and surveyed 1210 students from several dozen schools in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. “I was genuinely surprised to find out that there was this huge positive correlation” between the field trips and student learning, Freeman said.
“Now we have the proof in the paper, the pictures, the knowledge of assessing before and after, and it really justified what we do here every day,” said Victoria Garufi, director of education at Center for the Urban River at Beczak.
Cedar Place Elementary School in Yonkers is less than a mile from the Hudson River, but teacher Carley Reidy knows that many of her second graders have never seen it. She took them on a field trip to the Center for Urban River at Beczak, and their outlook changed.
“It’s such a different opportunity and learning experience for them being so hands-on,” Reidy said of the field trips. “They’re excited, they’re talking about what they’re learning and they’re engaged.”
Freeman’s two year study is expected to be published soon. It was made possible with two grants from the Hudson River Estuary Program with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University.