Learning on zoo field trips: The interaction of the agendas and practices of students, teachers, and zoo educators

January 1st, 2010 | RESEARCH

This paper reports on the findings of a case study that investigated the interaction of the agendas and practices of students, teachers, and zoo educators during a class field trip to a zoo. The study reports on findings of the analysis of two case classes of students and their perceptions of their learning experiences during the field trip. The goals, expectations, and perceived outcomes of the trip for students, their classroom teachers, and the zoo educators were elicited through interviews, surveys, student work, and observations. Both cases demonstrated how students placed high value and importance on social interactions with their peers. In addition, classroom teachers' pedagogical practices and the learning agendas they held for their students had a significant influence on students' subsequent learning and perceptions of the experience. This was in contrast to the zoo educators' practices and agendas that appeared not to be significant influences on student learning and perceptions. Implications for field trip planning and implementation are discussed.


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Team Members

Susan Kay Davidson, Author, Victoria University of Wellington
Cynthia Passmore, Author, University of California, Davis
David Anderson, Author, University of British Columbia


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 0036-8326

Publication: Science Education
Volume: 94
Number: 1
Page(s): 122

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Public Programs