Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 20: Investigating fieldtrips
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of current international practice in relation to fieldtrips, and thereby to explore the value of this pedagogical tool. The data were collected via an online survey of Irish based and international colleagues, and the results draw inspiration from the 152 respondents who generously provided the researcher with extensive feedback and reflections regarding their experiences on fieldtrips. The chapter explores some of the main findings from the survey including the type of fieldtrips that participants organize; participation by students; logistics, initiation and management of trips; educational elements including evaluation and assessment; and examples of best practice. The findings highlight that while firm pedagogical considerations are central to participants’ planning and undertaking of such experiential trips, their importance is often overlooked by colleagues and institutions. Despite the many institutional and bureaucratic barriers, such as funding issues, concerns regarding insurance, and health and safety, individuals are passionate about using fieldtrips to improve their teaching and to provide students with deeper, real life experiences. The chapter concludes with recommendations, particularly the need for institutions to acknowledge and support the often unrecognized fieldtrip efforts of practitioners.
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