Some exciting news came to Walton Arts Center this week: A recent study shows that field trips to Walton Arts Center can provide long term benefits to students! Last year alone, more than 50,000 students experienced the arts through programs like Digging Up Arkansas, the Colgate Classroom Series, and other master classes and activities with WAC performing artists.
In tandem with a study on the educational value of museum field trips conducted at Crystal Bridges, University of Arkansas researchers Jay P. Greene and Brian Kisida investigated the long term benefits of student field trips to Walton Arts Center.
More than 2,000 7th graders from around the area participated in a survey asking about their participation in cultural activities and their values like tolerance and empathy. The students’ answers were analyzed based on how many WAC performances they had been to throughout their school careers.
For each field trip students took to WAC, there was a statistically significant difference in students’ desire to attend cultural events. And more than that, field trip participation increased student desire to participate in cultural activities, not just attend them. Also notable, the study found that students who participate in arts field trips are more tolerant and empathetic than other students. The study will help educators better understand the important benefits that field trips to arts institutions offer students.