Cultivating A Farm Experience: Perceptions Of Field Trips To Educational Farms

Other Titles


The growing distance of consumers from the source of their food increases the necessity of developing agricultural literacy. A farm is an effective venue for the development of agricultural literacy; educational farms can provide authentic learning experiences and help people make connections to the land, to the source of their food, to one another, and between classroom learning and real life. Field trips provide a way to introduce young people from nonagricultural backgrounds to farms and offer a variety of cognitive, social, and affective benefits. Grounded in experiential learning, informal education, and place-based education, and supported by an understanding of learning in museums and on field trips, this study investigated the benefits of educational farm field trips as perceived by farm educators, classroom teachers, and students. To explore goals and expectations surrounding school field trips to educational farms, interviews were conducted at each of three educational farms with the farm-based educator and with classroom teachers visiting the farms with their classes. Students participating in field trips to the farms responded to questions about their experience and learning. Inductive analysis of the data identified emergent themes and patterns; goals of each educator were identified and considered in relation to one another. Findings indicate that the farm experience, interconnectivity, local food, agricultural literacy, and curriculum connections are important factors in field trips to educational farms. Classroom teachers and farm educators tended to have similar goals for the field trips, but some differences were found. Students reported both cognitive and affective learning from their field trips. Logistical elements of field trips and approaches to overcoming barriers are considered. Implications for field trips and future research are discussed. ii

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




field trips; educational farms; agricultural literacy


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Park, Travis D.

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Crawford, Barbara A

Degree Discipline


Degree Name

M.S., Education

Degree Level

Master of Science

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


dissertation or thesis

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record