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An Experimental Evaluation of Arts Field Trips

This paper presents results of a multi-visit, longitudinal experiment on the academic and social-emotional effects of arts-based field trips. We randomly assign fourth and fifth grade students to receive arts-based field trips throughout the school year or to serve as a control. Treatment students express greater tolerance for people with different opinions and a desire to consume arts. Additionally, treatment students have fewer behavioral infractions, attend school more frequently, score higher on their end-of-grade exams, and receive higher course grades. Effects are strongest when students enter middle school. We find no effect on students’ desire to participate in the arts, empathy, or social perspective taking.

arts education, randomized controlled trials, field trips
Education level
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EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Erickson, Heidi H., Angela R. Watson, and Jay P. Greene. (). An Experimental Evaluation of Arts Field Trips. (EdWorkingPaper: 20-284). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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