Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Psychology, Leadership, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Jacob Skousen

Second Committee Member

Nancy Lough

Third Committee Member

Bradley Marianno

Fourth Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Number of Pages



The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore the views, attitudes, and ideas that school principals have on school-sponsored field trips. As society continues to change it is increasingly necessary to contemplate the growing significance of field trip facilities’ educational roles and garner “information about the audiences they serve” (Anderson et al., 2015, p. vii). Additionally, the past decade has seen a decline in the number of field trips taken by schools, and in 2020, field trips came to a complete halt due to COVID-19 (Center for Disease Control (CDC), 2020; Mathews, 2014; Mehta, 2008; Plummer, 2014; Reeves & Rodrigue, 2016). Knowing and documenting school principals’ perceptions on field trips will help fill the gap in the literature on school principals’ perceptions of field trips. Principal perceptions are important to explore as principals have final oversight of budget, curriculum and must provide approval for schools to take field trips to destinations. Additionally, principal leadership influencing internal school processes such as academic learning time, instructional organization and academic expectations, school policies, and practices of teachers also could shape how often teachers plan and engage in field trips. To explore the perceptions of school principals and to explore the views, attitudes, and ideas that school principals have experienced while on school-sponsored field trips, the following research questions guided this dissertation/study: 1) How have elementary school principals experienced school-sponsored field trips? 2) What role do they have in the field trip experience? And 3) What are their perceptions of field trips? The findings of the study were presented as eight themes which emerged as a result of interviews held with elementary school principals. The implications of the study are intended to drive procedural changes within districts to ensure a greater focus on field trips and the intent of facilitating the field trip process and procedures for teachers and administrators to take field trips. Additional implications are directed at the marketing strategies for field trip destinations to target principals because they play a critical role in the decision-making process associated with field trips as this study provides insight into principal perceptions of field trips.


Elementary Education; Experiential Education; Experiential Learning; Field Trip; Principal


Education | Educational Leadership

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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