Thesis Title

The Learning Trip: Using the Museum Field Trip Experiece as a Teaching Resource to Enhance Curriculum and Student Engagement

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Teachers are forced to use state-adopted texts, approved materials and methods in order to facilitate learning. The creativity of designing a lesson plan that meets the needs of each student, while fostering the imagination and creativity, can be all but lost when constrained by such parameters.

So what can teachers do to enhance the learning process for students? Many teachers are turning towards alternative sources of information to compliment their lesson plans. One such source that can provide a wealth of knowledge and unlimited access to cultures, ideas, history and knowledge from all over the world are museums. Many of the world’s most popular and renowned museums have begun to enhance their research divisions to include areas that assist educators in complimenting their lesson planning and curriculum.

The purpose of this study is to identify the various ways museum resources can enhance curriculum and lesson plans for teachers, and review the impact of such resources on student engagement and learning. Four key elements have been identified that need to be in place in order to have a successful and meaningful fieldtrip experience at a museum. These four elements are as follows: pre-planning, interaction, task-oriented activities and follow-up. This study outlines how to incorporate these four elements and outline the specific ideas behind what makes each step successful in this unique learning experience.

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