The Power of a Museum Visit by Dara Zeehandelaar

The Power of a Museum Visit 

In this Education Gadfly article, Dara Zeehandelaar reports on a recent study of school field trips. Researchers gathered data on 11,000 Arkansas students in grades K-12 – half took a one-hour tour of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and half remained in their schools. Several weeks after the field trip, students took a quiz and here were the results:

• Students who visited the museum were able to recall a great deal of information about art and the artists whose work they saw.

• When shown a painting they’d never seen before, students who took the trip were better able to write critically about it.

• Field-trip students showed greater historical empathy – they could imagine what life was like in the past and could imagine what a figure in a painting was thinking.

• Students who had taken the trip were more likely to use a coupon to bring family members on a free visit to the museum. 

Researchers found that all four effects were strongest among younger students and those from rural areas, high-poverty schools, and racial minorities. 

“The Educational Value of Field Trips” reviewed in The Education Gadfly, Sept. 19, 2013 (Vol. 13, #36); “The Educational Value of Field Trips” by Jay Greene, Daniel Bowen, and Brian Kisida is available at http://educationnext.org/the-educational-value-of-field-trips/ 

 

From the Marshall Memo #503

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