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Field trip opportunities are plentiful throughout Clark County, Nevada, including museums, parks, and designated locations within the nearly seven million acres of public lands surrounding the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The majority of these field trip destinations, which this paper will refer to as Informal Education (IE) sites, have education teams that can create and deliver programs and/or tours for classes. Many also offer professional development opportunities for teachers. Although the IE sites are rich in natural and cultural resources and provide abundant opportunities for authentic learning experiences, teachers may not think of some of the sites as prime destinations for a field trip. For example, a teacher accustomed to conducting a field trip to a museum might not understand how to conduct a field trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This factor, along with academic and financial pressures facing many teachers, likely affects the attitudes and perceptions that teachers have about field trips in the Las Vegas area and potentially creates barriers that might prevent teachers from taking field trips.

A survey instrument was designed to determine what types of science and cultural programming will be most useful to Clark County School District (CCSD) teachers, how to structure and deliver this programming, how teachers use field trips with respect to academic and testing requirements, and how to best cultivate professional development opportunities. It is hoped that this survey analysis will allow IE site education staff to tailor programs to meet the needs of this specific audience and to address barriers that may be preventing teachers from taking field trips. Ideally, this information will help Clark County IE sites create experiences that will have significant and lasting impacts on student learning.

The CCSD Office of K-12 Math, Science, and Instructional Technology served as the district sponsor of this study so that delivery of the survey to CCSD teachers could take place. A total of 124 teachers participated in this survey between October 2005 and June 2006.


Clark County School District (Nev.); Curriculum planning; Nevada – Las Vegas; School field trips; Teachers – Training of


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education and Teaching | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development