Optimizing student learning opportunities in elementary school field trips





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The research question addressed is, How can I optimize student learning opportunities for elementary school field trips? The author developed curriculum and an exhibit about immigration and pioneer life to be used for second grade field trips to a small history museum based on research about learning in museums, effective field trips and informal learning. Special attention was paid to providing ways for students to connect the information provided in the curriculum and exhibit to their own lives. Key influences included the stories of elder community members, experiences with informal education, resources such as the Museum Educator's Roundtable and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Authors such as Piscitelli, Chang, Diamond, Griffin, and Leinhardt were explored in the research on museum learning. The curriculum and exhibit support state curriculum standards and required collaboration among several elements.

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