Graduation Date

5-2018

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Suresh Appavoo, Ed.D.

Abstract

When planned and executed with purpose and precision, expedition based, experiential education can deepen student learning, increase engagement, and help close the achievement gap. Yet, this approach to education remains the exception, rather than the norm in a standard public high school setting. The purpose of this research project is to better understand the experiences that teachers and administrators have when planning and executing expeditions, and to explore the obstacles that prevent and/or inhibit teachers from teaching outside the classroom.

This is a qualitative research project that was conducted at three schools in the Northern California Bay Area. Teachers, administrators, a parent, and a superintendent were interviewed. Teachers at one location also participated in a survey.

The results of this study indicate that the traditional education system fails to support the needs of expedition based, experiential education. Some teachers who believe in EBEE find ways to fight or work around the system, but the overwhelming workload that accompanies this task can make it difficult for teachers to experience the pay-off. In order for EBEE to become a standard in public schools, teachers need more support on the school and district level.

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