Action Research 8
of field work while some focused on factors that make field work more successful. Research on the importance of student field trips dates back to the early years of WWII (Stevenson, 1940); research promoting field work by high school students goes back to the days of 48 United States (Dexter, 1958).
In one study on the educational efficacy of field trips the authors attempted to find out what variables affected students’ ability to learn on a field trip in a natural environment. The authors researched 296 students in high schools in Israel on a one-day geological field trip. They used qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect data from students, teacher, and outside observer) in three stages (before, after, and during the field trip). Using observations and questionnaires they investigated: student learning and student attitudes before and after the field trip. They found that the efficacy of the field trip was controlled by concrete relation of the field trip to the curriculum and the degree to which the students were familiar with the area of the field trip (Orion & Holfstein, 1994).
In “Using the Urban Environment to Engage Youths in Urban Ecology Field Studies” authors Barnett, Lord, Strauss, Rosca, Langfor, Chavez, and Deni (2006), attempt to find out the success of the Urban Ecology Field Studies (UEFS) program in terms of engaging traditionally underrepresented groups in science. They examined a few hundred high school students in the Boston Public Schools over the course of two years. The researchers studied these students’ views through mixed method survey and interview protocols before, during, and after the UEFS. The authors concluded that the program was a success as it improved student interest in science, supported the development and understanding of scientific methodologies, and improved environmental stewardship compared with a control group of traditionally instructed science students.