Altered Attitudes and Actions: Social-Emotional Effects of Multiple Arts Field Trips

40 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2019 Last revised: 8 Mar 2019

See all articles by Angela Watson

Angela Watson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Jay Greene

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Heidi Holmes Erickson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Molly I Beck

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: February 19, 2019

Abstract

In recent decades, institutions, teachers, and students report a decline in field trip attendance. The impact of this decline on educational and societal outcomes such as social-emotional skill acquisition is unknown. Social-emotional learning (SEL) are skills thought to be important to life and relationship success and are associated with better long-term student outcomes. This study describes the results of the first-ever longitudinal experiment of the effects of multiple arts- related field trips on elementary school students of color in a large urban school district. Treated students attended field trips to an art museum, a live theater production, and a symphony performance. We find significant educational benefits from attending multiple arts field trips on social-emotional outcomes, including increased feelings of tolerance and social perspective taking. Our findings also suggest that female treatment students exhibit increased conscientiousness as compared to their control group peers, however these effects dissipate when treatment ceases. Further, female students who receive three additional field trips in a second treatment year act more conscientious than in the prior year of treatment. Increased exposure to the arts through field trip experiences does not, however, appear to increase students’ desire to consume or participate in the arts, nor do we find an impact of treatment on empathy. These findings suggest that arts-related field trips elicit meaningful changes in students’ social- emotional attitudes and actions and that a decline in field trip attendance may be detrimental.

Keywords: social-emotional learning, school field trips, arts education, experimental design

Suggested Citation

Watson, Angela and Greene, Jay and Holmes Erickson, Heidi and Beck, Molly I, Altered Attitudes and Actions: Social-Emotional Effects of Multiple Arts Field Trips (February 19, 2019). EDRE Working Paper 2019-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3340163 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3340163

Angela Watson (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Jay Greene

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Heidi Holmes Erickson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Molly I Beck

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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