The first phase of the fieldtrip experience involves four components: 1. Choose
fieldtrip site 2. Plan for chaperone needs 3. Contact families 4. Contact the field trip site
Choosing the Site
Getting students opinion of which sites and exhibits to visit is beneficial in many ways. Involving students in selection of fieldtrip experience has the potential to increase a student's feeling of responsibility for, and control over, her own learning. Students who are allowed to define their own learning goals will be more engaged in learning. By working with learners to create individual project checklists, you and your students engage in a valuable discussion of learning goals, student interests, student and teacher expectations, personal strengths and weaknesses, and problem solving strategies. Such discussions can help build more authentic projects, in that they reflect student interests and skills. Most importantly, involving students in project planning will engage them in their own learning. This ownership excites learners and often increases the effort they are willing to put forth. Authentic projects with a student voice help connect the world of school with a student's own experiences, making learning more relevant, more equitable, and more enjoyable. Although few studies have examined the effects of involving students in choosing fieldtrip site and other planning activities, involving the students is recommended in the United States and abroad as a way of sparking students’ interest in the learning process, making the students more comfortable with going on fieldtrips and giving the students a strong sense of ownership in the learning process. One group of researchers examined the effects of involving high school students in planning and developing a fieldtrip visit. A literature review of studies exploring the effects of involving students showed no consensus on which methods of engaging students in the field trip planning... [continues]
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