Effects of field trips on alternative students' knowledge skills, attitudes, and relationships

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Pyke, Krystal Leigh
alternative education
alternative students
curriculum-connected field trips
field trips
outdoor education
The purpose of this project was to understand how curriculum-connected experiential outdoor science programs can affect alternative school students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards learning. Field trips represent an underused and potentially significant avenue for alternative schools to further support students both academically and psychologically. By using observations, discussion and one-on-one interviews, a qualitative analysis of participants’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and social engagement was conducted. After a series of five curriculum-connected field trips, participating students from an alternative school in British Columbia presented enriched understanding and knowledge of curriculum content, improved observation and communication skills, stronger relationships, and increased positive attitudes towards learning. Results suggest that curriculum-connected field trips provide positive hands-on experiences from which students can build understanding, develop skills, and cultivate positive learning relationships. This research may be used in the development and design of future programs for alternative students aimed at further supporting student achievement and success.
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