Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Education Reform


Jay P. Greene

Committee Member

Robert Maranto

Second Committee Member

Albert Cheng


arts education, cultural capital, educational equity, field trips, social-emotional, social mobility


The school field trip is as much a part of the American educational experience as letter grades and recess. However, in response to a variety of pressures such as accountability, safety, and funding, the school field trip is reported to be in decline. Traditional field trip destinations, like museums and zoos, claim that attendance has declined. Further, these institutions feel pressure to connect field trips directly to state educational standards, or even design field trips to meet state standards that may be outside their areas of expertise, in order to justify a field. In this collection of three studies, I examine the effects of culturally enriching field trips to arts institutions on student outcomes in an experiment. I conduct a qualitative study of multiple field trips and report stakeholder perspectives. Finally, I examine the state of arts field trips across the country, including a longitudinal report on field trip attendance to art museums in multiple states. I find positive benefits of field trips to students on social-emotional outcomes. Further, there is evidence that these benefits compound with more field trip attendance. Stakeholders, including the student participants, report benefits from these field trips that both align with and expand from the experimental study findings. Lastly, I find that there is evidence of a decline in field trips to art museums and document the reported impact of the policy pressures on these field trips.