The Effect of Planned Trips to Zoos on Learning in Science Education and Determining Student Remarks About the Trip Process

Alperen Okur, Mustafa Uzoğlu, Aykut Emre Bozdoğan


In this study, researching the effect of a planned trip to one of the informal learning environments, zoos, on learning and taking students’ opinions about the trip were aimed. In accordance with this purpose, from mixed designs, embedded designs were used because both qualitative data and quantitative data were used. The working team included 15 fifth grade students who took education at Avluca Sht. Ahmet Keskin Secondary School in 2013-2014 academic year. In the research for the purpose of revealing the effects of planned zoo trip on students’ learning, the academic effect of this experience on learning was evaluated with “animal-themed” academic achievement test that had been developed by the researcher and applied to students attending to research before and after the zoo trip and with mind maps drawn by students before and after the trip to determine the change in students’ misconceptions before and after the trip. For the students’ views about this learning experience, semi-structured interview form developed by again the researcher was used. Pre and posttest results gotten from the achievement test were evaluated with Wilcoxon signed ranks test; the data obtained from the mind maps were analyzed with error frequencies; and the students’ judgements received from semi-structured interview about this learning experience were examined with content analysis method. This research is in embedded design model where collecting both quantitative and qualitative data and analysing methods were used together. The results which was collected in the process of research with the data’s being analyzed showed that a well-organized zoo trip has a positive effect on learning ability, that there is a meaningful difference between students’ pretest and posttest academic achievement score for the benefit of posttest, and that the trip eliminates some misconceptions but has no effect on some, as well (Z=3,065; p=.002<.05). According to replies to semi-structured interview form, students have found this trip entertaining and informative. They also stated that they learn better when having fun and that especially the existence of brochures about zoos before the trip and the guidance of teachers during trip were beneficial for them.

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