Disney parks amp resorts internships amp programs education connection explore educate connect



The Disney Internships and Programs are an exciting opportunity for students of all majors and backgrounds.   Current business-leader surveys indicate that employers are seeking candidates with communication skills, initiative/motivation, teamwork, interpersonal skills, work ethic and problem solving.

News & Updates

What Educators Are Saying.

Disney will take students out into the learning laboratory of the Disney resorts where they are learning first-hand how Disney does it.

– Marianne Ansboro, Professor

Tompkins Cortland Community College

I have not found another company that really has delved into developing an educational package along with a work experience that is second to none; that really challenges the students, beyond what they thought they could do.

– Dean Wallin, Director, Center for Leisure Services Park and Recreation

Central Michigan University

In my role as Director of the Career Development Center, I speak to hundreds, if not thousands of employers, and so I learn about the programs they have to offer.  The Disney College Program is by far the best intern program I’ve seen in the nation.

Drivers ed online drivers license and learners permit driver education courses home

Fast, Fun, Easy and Cheap!

We offer the easist Driver Education Course on the Internet! With New Teen Drivers in mind, we keep our course easy to use and understand

To get a learner’s permit students are generally required to take a driver education class that includes both classroom time and driving time with an authorized instructor. We offer driver education programs that allow teenagers to complete this requirement from their home.

Driver Education classes or physical driving schools are often a boring, expensive, or just plain inconvenient way to fulfill your driver education requirement. Teens, just like everyone else, want the freedom to learn to drive when they want to and at their own pace!

Please click on your state to learn about the different driver education options we offer. You can order our driver education workbook or sign up for any of our driver ed home study programs online or you can call our offices at 1-800-482-6593.

Rn degrees registered nursing schools how long can it take to be an rn

Here’s What You’ll Study in a Registered Nurse (RN) Degree Program

You’ll have plenty of education options as a registered nurse, but first you’ll need to earn at least an associate’s degree.

What degree levels are available?

Associate’s Degree Programs

An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) includes courses in anatomy, nursing, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology among others. You’ll also be required to take general liberal arts classes. Earning an ADN is the most popular option for registered nurses and opens the door to entry-level staff nurse positions which will provide you with hands-on experience in the medical field.

This is the fastest path to becoming a registered nurse as most associate’s degree programs last about two to three years.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

An aspiring RN can earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) in four years at a college or university. If you’re already an RN, you can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program which is geared specifically for RNs who have an associate’s degree or nursing diploma. This path usually takes about two to three years.

An even quicker BSN option is for candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. An accelerated BSN program allows students to apply general education credits from their first degree to the BSN. This route takes between one to one-and-a-half years.

As an example of a typical RN-to-BSN course load, Kaplan University offers the following:

Examples of RN-to-BSN Core Courses

  • Bioethics
  • Fundamentals of microbiology
  • Nursing research
  • Nursing care of the older adult
  • Public health nursing

Dance education unlimited amp dance education unlimited 2 fair lawn amp tenafly area 039 s dance theater and exercise studio

“Little Ballerinas” at Dance Education Unlimited 2 – Review

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a ballet class at Dance Education Unlimited 2, however all opinions stated below are solely my own.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Dance Education Unlimited 2?s  “Little Ballerinas” class. Oh my goodness, two and three-year-old girls in tutus are just the cutest!

The studio was created by local mom Toni Drummond and her partners Omar Diaz, Lisa Zitani, Jackie Bodtmann & Sonia Abreu out of a passion for dance, fitness and their local community.  As soon as I walked in the door I could feel the family atmosphere of the studio – there was a clear emphasis on having fun, self expression and a love of dance.

This class is perfect for any little one who wants a fun, warm, and inviting introduction to ballet. The instructor, Jennifer Shearer, was great with this age group. The girls were excited to enter, eager to practice technique and had a blast when it was time to freely dance their little hearts out.

I liked that the studio really seemed to take the needs of the parents into account as well.  There was a television in the waiting area to watch the class. Also, on the day I visited, a parent of a first time student was allowed into the classroom to watch (and even participate) from the back.  The parent did not seem to be a distraction to anyone and in the end her daughter happily made it through the class.

Now, onto the class tour: 

Dance Education Unlimited 2 (Fair Lawn) is located right on Fair Lawn Ave. with plenty of parking across the street and behind the building.

There is a television in the parent waiting area which allows parents to enjoy the class. Brilliant idea right?

The instructor, Jennifer Shearer was amazing. She has an extensive background in dance (read her bio below) and knew just how to motivate the girls to practice technique while allowing them to express themselves as little girls should.

During the warm up, Jennifer used songs the girls knew such as ‘Open, Shut Them”. She even used the “Itsy Bitzy Spider” to get them to reach down and “tickle” their toes.  Just the cutest! I also loved the gentle nature in which the girls were instructed to stretch – by scooping stars, showing them to their friends and putting them in their baskets.

Next, it was onto floor work. I thought for sure the girls would be running around but they were mesmerized by Jennifer – following her every move with smiles on their faces. Jennifer had the girls act out many of their technical movements such as pretending their were rockets shooting up into the air or soldiers, complete with marching, drumming and saluting.

Here’s a close up of the girls dancing like soldiers – giving their salute.

Finally, the girls could really let loose with the freeze dance with pom poms. And boy did they like this – check out the pic, they’re all blurry due to all of the dancing their were doing!

Dance Education Unlimited offers a variety of classes from ballet, zumba, break dancing to adult belly dancing. Be sure to ask about their camps and birthday parties too. Click here for a list of their classes on PlaygroundTalk.com  or go to their website  for more information.

About the instructor, Jennifer Shearer:   Jennifer bag formal dance training at age three and studied ballet extensively under Eugene Petrov and the late Irine Fokine. She attended summer programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet and went on receiver her B.A. in Dance from Barnard College of Columbia University.


Below you will find the most meaningful mottos and slogans used by schools.

A Building With Four Walls And Tomorrow Inside

A Family Of Learning

A Great Place For Education

A Great Place To Be

A Great Place To Learn

A Partnership In Discovery

A Quality School

A Tradition Of Excellence

A Tradition Of Pride

Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty

Academy Attitude Positive Attitude

Achieving Excellence Together

Achieving High Standards

Attitude Is A Little Thing That Makes A Big Difference

Bringing Excellence To Students

Building A Better World One Student At A Time

Centers For Excellence

Children First

Committed To Excellence In Education

Committed To Lifelong Learning In A Caring Environment

Creating A Community Of Life-Long Learners

Learning Today. Leading Tomorrow

Teaching Turning Today’s Learners Into Tomorrow’s Leaders

Fletc college intern program mdash federal law enforcement training center

FLETC College Intern Program

The FLETC College Intern program provides a unique opportunity for college students majoring in Criminal Justice, Criminology, or a related field of study from across the country, to participate in a Federal Law Enforcement training environment. Each year, three intern sessions lasting twelve (12) weeks, are conducted at the FLETC, exposing selected interns to world-class training, broadening their horizons and helping to develop a foundation for a career in federal law enforcement.

Interns, after being selected to participate in the highly selective program, are assigned to a mentor from one of the FLETC’s training divisions or partner organizations. During their stay at FLETC, college interns spend approximately fifty-percent of their time completing worthwhile work to advance the mission of FLETC and the remaining fifty-percent, attending basic and advanced training courses. The FLETC College Intern Program stresses flexibility and creativity by encouraging interns to experience everything FLETC has to offer to further their education and career goals, while making professional contacts.

Confused as to the application process or have questions regarding the details of the FLETC College Intern Program?The summer 2008 Interns compiled a College Intern Program Applicant Handbook to assist students interested in the program, in the process of completing the application and becoming a FLETC College Intern. Students interested in learning more about the FLETC College Intern Program, should download a copy of the handbook in Word format to learn more about the program and application process.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

To apply to become a FLETC College Intern, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must be enrolled in either a baccalaureate or a graduate program both at the time of application and at the time that the internship will be served;
  2. Be majoring in one of the following majors: Criminal Justice, Criminology, Criminal Justice Administration, Forensic Sciences, Psychology, Computer Forensics or be pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree. Although these degrees are the norm, students majoring in other fields such as Accounting, Information Technology, and other majors have been accepted in the past;
  3. Applicants must be a college senior (senior status is denoted by completion of at least 135 quarter hours or 90 semester hours of a baccalaureate program) or be a graduate student, but not yet be granted a degree by the date the intern session will end;
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university degree program in which the successful completion of an internship is either required or in which credits are granted for the successful completion of an internship;
  • Have a strong personal desire to work in Federal Law Enforcement following attainment of degree; and
  • Be a lawful citizen of the United States of America.

    Selection Criteria

    Admittance into the FLETC College Intern Program is highly selective, competitive and is based upon the following criteria: grade point averages in the applicant’s major and overall course of study, leadership and community involvements, work experiences, professional experience related to field of study, contents and communication skills presented in narrative essay, contents of nomination form and if necessary, the responses given during a telephonic interview.

  • National report card introduction

    School Funding Fairness Suffers Amid National Recession

    NEWARK, February 5, 2014 — The 3 rd Edition of Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card details how the Great Recession and its aftermath have affected school funding in the states.

    The Great Recession triggered dramatic reductions in state and local revenue from property, sales and income taxes. To prevent layoffs and cuts to education programs, the federal government provided substantial stimulus funds on a temporary basis. When the stimulus ended, however, states faced a crucial test: either restore revenue or allow cuts to education funding and programs. This report shows many of the states failed this test, sacrificing fair school funding after the foreseeable loss of federal stimulus.

    The National Report Card (NRC) examines each state’s level of commitment to equal educational opportunity, regardless of a student’s background, family income, or where she or he attends school. Providing fair school funding — at a sufficient level with additional funds to meet needs generated by poverty — is crucial if all students are to be afforded the opportunity to learn and be successful.

    The NRC evaluates all 50 states and the District of Columbia on four separate, but interrelated, funding “fairness indicators” — funding level, distribution, state fiscal effort, and coverage.

    The 3 rd Edition of the NRC finds:

    • School funding in 2011 was largely stagnant or declining in many states. About half of the states cut funding from 2010 levels, and in fourteen states per-pupil spending in 2011 was below 2007 levels, even without adjusting for inflation.
    • Reversing a positive trend, the number of states classified as “progressive” — that is, they provide more funds as district poverty increases — dropped between 2010 and 2011. Several of the fourteen “progressive” states reduced funding to high poverty districts. New Jersey, for example, lowered the funding boost for poor districts from 42% in 2009 to a mere 7% in 2011. In Utah, the funding boost was cut in half from 59% in 2009 to 24% in 2011.
    • Many states reduced their investment in K-12 public education in 2011. All but three states lowered their fiscal effort on education between 2010 and 2011, when they faced the fiscal cliff created by the loss of federal stimulus funds.

    The 3 rd Edition of the NRC also explores the relationship between school funding and three essential resources: early childhood education, pupil-to-teacher ratios, and teacher wage competitiveness. The report shows that states with fair school funding tend to provide more support for early childhood education and are better able to provide competitive compensation for teachers and maintain student to staff ratios that are adequate to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

    As in previous editions of the NRC, school funding in most states remains remarkably unfair, as these latest findings demonstrate:

    • The disparities in funding among states are vast, with average per pupil funding ranging from $6,753 in Idaho, to $17,397 in Wyoming. In six states (Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Idaho), average funding levels are below $8,000 per pupil.
    • The majority of states have flat or regressive funding distribution patterns that ignore the need for additional funding in high poverty settings. Even among “progressive” states, only eight provide more than a 10% boost to high poverty districts. In the five most regressive states (North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada), the poorest districts receive at least 20% less funding than higher wealth districts.
    • States making the strongest effort to fund public education devote more than 4.5% of their economic productivity to schools (Vermont, New Jersey, New York), while the lowest effort states (Oregon, South Dakota, Delaware) allocate 2.5% or less.
    • The extent to which school-aged children do not attend public schools raises a red flag in a number of states. In Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. approximately 20% of children do not attend public schools, and the average household income of these children is often dramatically higher than that of their public school peers. Household incomes of non-public school families in Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia are as much as two to three times higher than in the case of public school families. These data point to a potential lack of political and community support for fairly financing public education in these states.

    “As this National Report Card shows, most states did not step up when the federal stimulus dried up. Instead, they cut education funding, eroding fairness in some states and further retreating from that goal in others,” said David Sciarra, Education Law Center Executive Director and NRC co-author. “These latest results show school finance in most states is decidedly unfair, a condition which deprives equal educational opportunity to millions of public school children across the nation.”

    “This year’s National Report Card confirms that states across the country are failing to adequately and equitably invest in children,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. “A tough economy is no excuse to deny an adequate education to students, regardless of their race, disability status, income, or zip code. This report also offers proof that states can do better when they prioritize students over politics.”

    Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card is coauthored by Bruce Baker of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education; David Sciarra, Executive Director of Education Law Center (ELC); and Danielle Farrie, ELC Research Director.

    Nine hour tests and lots of pressure welcome to the chinese school system world news the observer

    Nine-hour tests and lots of pressure: welcome to the Chinese school system

    High-pressure Chinese education? A crowd in Anhui province waves off a coachload of students on their way to take the nine-hour ‘gaokao’ college entrance exam Photograph: China Daily/Corbis

    The streets surrounding Shijia primary school in Beijing were mobbed by a crowd of parents so dense that cars were obliged to beat a retreat.

    At 3.45pm on Friday, 11-year-old Zou Tingting, five minutes late, bounded through the school’s west gate and into her waiting mother’s arms. Tingting’s classes were over, but her day was just beginning – she had an hour of homework, plus lessons in ping pong, swimming, art, calligraphy and piano.

    Tingting’s mother, Huang Chunhua, said that, like many Chinese mothers, she once considered Tingting’s academic performance her top priority; now she realises the importance of a well-rounded education. “I’ve seen British curricular materials, and I’m actually kind of jealous,” she said. “British teachers guide students to discover things on their own – they don’t just feed them the answers, like in China .”

    In recent weeks British parents and educators have been in a panic about the discrepancy between the Chinese education system and the UK’s. In December the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the 2012 results for its triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) test – a reading, maths and science examination administered to half a million 15-year-olds in 65 countries. Shanghai students topped the rankings; the UK ranked 26th.

    Next week education minister Elizabeth Truss will lead a “fact-finding mission” to Shanghai to learn the secrets of China’s success. She plans to adjust the UK’s education policy accordingly.

    Yet Chinese parents and educators see their own system as corrupt, dehumanising, pressurised and unfair. In fact, many are looking to the west for answers. Huang said that some parents bribe Shijia primary school to admit their children (though she declined to say whether she had done so herself).

    Tingting attends an expensive cramming school at weekends, leaving her tired. She will probably have to abandon extracurricular activities in high school to devote more time to the college admission exam, called the gaokao. Many parents consider the gruelling nine-hour test a sorting mechanism that will determine the trajectory of their children’s lives.

    Chinese experts are also less impressed than Truss by the Pisa scores. “Even though Shanghai students scored well on the test, this doesn’t mean that Shanghai’s education system doesn’t have any problems,” said Lao Kaisheng, a professor in the education department of Beijing Normal University. “In fact, it’s the opposite.”

    As long as China’s education system remains vast but resource-constrained, Lao added, its schools will default to testing as a reliable indicator of competence. “The education system here puts a heavy emphasis on rote memorisation, which is great for students’ test-taking ability but not for their problem-solving and leadership abilities or their interpersonal skills,” he said. “Chinese schools just ignore these things.”

    According to an analysis of the rankings. the children of Shanghai’s cleaners and caterers are three years more advanced than UK lawyers’ and doctors’ children in maths. Yet the figures are an unreliable measure of equality. Although Shanghai’s 23 million people make up less than 2% of China’s population, its per capita GDP is more than double the national average; its college enrolment rate is four times as high.

    Furthermore, nearly half of Shanghai’s school-age children belong to migrant families and were effectively barred from taking the test: because of China’s residence registration system, these students are forced to attend high school in their home provinces, where schools are often debilitatingly understaffed. Although students from 12 provinces took the test in 2009, the government only shared Shanghai’s scores.

    “The OECD has not disclosed if other Chinese provinces secretly took part in the 2012 assessment. Nor have Pisa officials disclosed who selected the provinces that participated,” wrote Tom Loveless, an education expert at Harvard University, on a Brookings Institute blog. “There is a lack of transparency surrounding Pisa’s relationship with China.”

    Wang Peng, a teacher in Wuhu, a city in Anhui province, said that his school’s average class size is significantly larger than most in Shanghai, and that it cannot compete in terms of financial strength. Wang said he makes about ?300 a month; teachers in big cities make twice as much. “As far as education methods go, there’s not a huge difference [between Wuhu and Shanghai],” he said. “But the general educational environment, and the opportunities that students receive – those are really different.”

    Occasionally, reminders of the system’s ruthlessness cause soul-searching. In 2012, pictures of a classroom of Chinese high-school students hooked up to intravenous amino acid drips while studying for the gaokao went viral on social media. Last May two teenagers in Jiangsu killed themselves after “failing to complete homework”, according to state media. In 2012, a student emerged from the exam to learn that his mother had died in a car crash 12 days prior; the school and his relatives conspired not to tell him so as to not distract him.

    Authorities recognise the problem. Last June the government issued guidelines urging schools to focus on students’ “moral development”, “citizenship” and “ambition” rather than their test scores.

    Yet solutions remain elusive. One recently retired teacher at a Beijing middle school said she earns extra money by teaching an after-school cramming course called maths olympiad. The programme was designed as an advanced exercise for outstanding maths students.

    In the late 1990s Beijing authorities barred grade schools from setting entrance exams, and some simply adopted maths olympiad scores as a substitute. Parents began to see the course as required, even if their children were uninterested or under-qualified. Although the education ministry has repeatedly cracked down on maths olympiad instruction, schools maintain the programme under different names, state media reported in 2012. Enrolment figures remain high.

    “When maths olympiad first started, it had the right idea – it was a programme for students who were really interested,” said the teacher, who requested anonymity because of the course’s controversial profile. “There are a lot of kids without the ability who go to study this stuff, and it consumes their weekends, and their winter and summer vacations.

    “These students aren’t developing in a healthy way. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

    School character education program 8 keys of excellence

    School Character Education Program

    Since 1982, tens of thousands of Quantum Learning-trained teachers have used the 8 Keys of Excellence as their preferred method of character education. The 8 Keys of Excellence school character education program can provide teachers with curriculum and training to implement a full year of character education lessons enabling you to inspire and model excellence in your classroom.

    Teachers begin the year by presenting an overview lesson of the 8 Keys of Excellence to their students. They focus on one Key per month, starting with a Key lesson early in the month and integrating the Key into the curriculum in a number of ways, including: student journaling, writing assignments and test preparation tips. May is review and celebration month.

    If the school year already is underway, your school can implement 8 Keys of Excellence at any point simply by shortening the time spent on each Key.

    “Our message was clear to students and their families about the characteristics we value as staff. Our school counselor noticed that students often talked about the importance of striving for excellence and the values of the Keys while they worked out conflicts. We look forward to continuing with the program next year.” – Wendi Cocita, Assistant Principal, Jefferson Middle School

    Register your school or class now for a free introductory lesson and tips on how to implement this program in your classroom.

    The 8 Keys = Excellence

    Research with 8 Keys schools has shown the positive effects of using the 8 Keys of Excellence as the school’s character education program. One study revealed that after implementing the 8 Keys of Excellence school-wide for one year, teachers increased their ability to engage all students in learning, effectively manage classroom behavior, make meaningful connections to content, improve student socialization, cultivate positive attitudes in their classroom and encourage students to take responsibility for their learning.

    Teachers also reported higher levels of joy and satisfaction from teaching at the end of the year than at the beginning, and an increased school spirit. Suspensions and expulsions went down approximately 30% and average student GPA increased a half letter grade.

    The 8 Keys not only develop student’s character, but they bring students and faculty together. Schools have selected their students of the year based on who best demonstrated the ability to live the 8 Keys throughout the school year. Other schools have chosen the 8 Keys as their theme for yearbooks and school plays.

    “Coastal Academy loves the 8 Keys. Parents love the character education.”

    – Lori Perez, Principal, Coastal Academy

    “The program has given the school a common language.”

    – Debbie Dickson, Teacher, Reynolds Elementary

    The educational value of field trips education next education next

    The Educational Value of Field Trips

    Taking students to an art museum improves critical thinking skills, and more

    WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 1

    Crystal Bridges; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; School Tour © 2013 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography

    Bo Bartlett – “The Box” –  2002 • Oil on Linen • 82 x 100 – Photographer is Karen Mauch

    The school field trip has a long history in American public education. For decades, students have piled into yellow buses to visit a variety of cultural institutions, including art, natural history, and science museums, as well as theaters, zoos, and historical sites. Schools gladly endured the expense and disruption of providing field trips because they saw these experiences as central to their educational mission: schools exist not only to provide economically useful skills in numeracy and literacy, but also to produce civilized young men and women who would appreciate the arts and culture. More-advantaged families may take their children to these cultural institutions outside of school hours, but less-advantaged students are less likely to have these experiences if schools do not provide them. With field trips, public schools viewed themselves as the great equalizer in terms of access to our cultural heritage.

    Today, culturally enriching field trips are in decline. Museums across the country report a steep drop in school tours. For example, the Field Museum in Chicago at one time welcomed more than 300,000 students every year. Recently the number is below 200,000. Between 2002 and 2007, Cincinnati arts organizations saw a 30 percent decrease in student attendance. A survey by the American Association of School Administrators found that more than half of schools eliminated planned field trips in 2010–11.

    The decision to reduce culturally enriching field trips reflects a variety of factors. Financial pressures force schools to make difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources, and field trips are increasingly seen as an unnecessary frill. Greater focus on raising student performance on math and reading standardized tests may also lead schools to cut field trips. Some schools believe that student time would be better spent in the classroom preparing for the exams. When schools do organize field trips, they are increasingly choosing to take students on trips to reward them for working hard to improve their test scores rather than to provide cultural enrichment. Schools take students to amusement parks, sporting events, and movie theaters instead of to museums and historical sites. This shift from “enrichment” to “reward” field trips is reflected in a generational change among teachers about the purposes of these outings. In a 2012?13 survey we conducted of nearly 500 Arkansas teachers, those who had been teaching for at least 15 years were significantly more likely to believe that the primary purpose of a field trip is to provide a learning opportunity, while more junior teachers were more likely to see the primary purpose as “enjoyment.”

    If schools are de-emphasizing culturally enriching field trips, has anything been lost as a result? Surprisingly, we have relatively little rigorous evidence about how field trips affect students. The research presented here is the first large-scale randomized-control trial designed to measure what students learn from school tours of an art museum.

    We find that students learn quite a lot. In particular, enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.

    Design of the Study and School Tours

    The 2011 opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas created the opportunity for this study. Crystal Bridges is the first major art museum to be built in the United States in the last four decades, with more than 50,000 square feet of gallery space and an endowment in excess of $800 million. Portions of the museum’s endowment are devoted to covering all of the expenses associated with school tours. Crystal Bridges reimburses schools for the cost of buses, provides free admission and lunch, and even pays for the cost of substitute teachers to cover for teachers who accompany students on the tour.

    Because the tour is completely free to schools, and because Crystal Bridges was built in an area that never previously had an art museum, there was high demand for school tours. Not all school groups could be accommodated right away. So our research team worked with the staff at Crystal Bridges to assign spots for school tours by lottery. During the first two semesters of the school tour program, the museum received 525 applications from school groups representing 38,347 students in kindergarten through grade 12. We created matched pairs among the applicant groups based on similarity in grade level and other demographic factors. An ideal and common matched pair would be adjacent grades in the same school. We then randomly ordered the matched pairs to determine scheduling prioritization. Within each pair, we randomly assigned which applicant would be in the treatment group and receive a tour that semester and which would be in the control group and have its tour deferred.

    We administered surveys to 10,912 students and 489 teachers at 123 different schools three weeks, on average, after the treatment group received its tour. The student surveys included multiple items assessing knowledge about art as well as measures of critical thinking, historical empathy, tolerance, and sustained interest in visiting art museums. Some groups were surveyed as late as eight weeks after the tour, but it was not possible to collect data after longer periods because each control group was guaranteed a tour during the following semester as a reward for its cooperation. There is no indication that the results reported below faded for groups surveyed after longer periods.

    We also assessed students’ critical-thinking skills by asking them to write a short essay in response to a painting that they had not previously seen. Finally, we collected a behavioral measure of interest in art consumption by providing all students with a coded coupon good for free family admission to a special exhibit at the museum to see whether the field trip increased the likelihood of students making future visits.

    All results reported below are derived from regression models that control for student grade level and gender and make comparisons within each matched pair, while taking into account the fact that students in the matched pair of applicant groups are likely to be similar in ways that we are unable to observe. Standard validity tests confirmed that the survey items employed to generate the various scales used as outcomes measured the same underlying constructs.

    The intervention we studied is a modest one. Students received a one-hour tour of the museum in which they typically viewed and discussed five paintings. Some students were free to roam the museum following their formal tour, but the entire experience usually involved less than half a day. Instructional materials were sent to teachers who went on a tour, but our survey of teachers suggests that these materials received relatively little attention, on average no more than an hour of total class time. The discussion of each painting during the tour was largely student-directed, with the museum educators facilitating the discourse and providing commentary beyond the names of the work and the artist and a brief description only when students requested it. This format is now the norm in school tours of art museums. The aversion to having museum educators provide information about works of art is motivated in part by progressive education theories and by a conviction among many in museum education that students retain very little factual information from their tours.

    Recalling Tour Details. Our research suggests that students actually retain a great deal of factual information from their tours. Students who received a tour of the museum were able to recall details about the paintings they had seen at very high rates. For example, 88 percent of the students who saw the Eastman Johnson painting At the Camp—Spinning Yarns and Whittling knew when surveyed weeks later that the painting depicts abolitionists making maple syrup to undermine the sugar industry, which relied on slave labor. Similarly, 82 percent of those who saw Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter could recall that the painting emphasizes the importance of women entering the workforce during World War II. Among students who saw Thomas Hart Benton’s Ploughing It Under. 79 percent recollected that it is a depiction of a farmer destroying his crops as part of a Depression-era price support program. And 70 percent of the students who saw Romare Bearden’s Sacrifice could remember that it is part of the Harlem Renaissance art movement. Since there was no guarantee that these facts would be raised in student-directed discussions, and because students had no particular reason for remembering these details (there was no test or grade associated with the tours), it is impressive that they could recall historical and sociological information at such high rates.

    These results suggest that art could be an important tool for effectively conveying traditional academic content, but this analysis cannot prove it. The control-group performance was hardly better than chance in identifying factual information about these paintings, but they never had the opportunity to learn the material. The high rate of recall of factual information by students who toured the museum demonstrates that the tours made an impression. The students could remember important details about what they saw and discussed.

    Critical Thinking. Beyond recalling the details of their tour, did a visit to an art museum have a significant effect on students? Our study demonstrates that it did. For example, students randomly assigned to receive a school tour of Crystal Bridges later displayed demonstrably stronger ability to think critically about art than the control group.

    During the first semester of the study, we showed all 3rd- through 12th-grade students a painting they had not previously seen, Bo Bartlett’s The Box. We then asked students to write short essays in response to two questions: What do you think is going on in this painting? And, what do you see that makes you think that? These are standard prompts used by museum educators to spark discussion during school tours.

    We stripped the essays of all identifying information and had two coders rate the compositions using a seven-item rubric for measuring critical thinking that was developed by researchers at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The measure is based on the number of instances that students engaged in the following in their essays: observing, interpreting, evaluating, associating, problem finding, comparing, and flexible thinking. Our measure of critical thinking is the sum of the counts of these seven items. In total, our research team blindly scored 3,811 essays. For 750 of those essays, two researchers scored them independently. The scores they assigned to the same essay were very similar, demonstrating that we were able to measure critical thinking about art with a high degree of inter-coder reliability.

    We express the impact of a school tour of Crystal Bridges on critical-thinking skills in terms of standard-deviation effect sizes. Overall, we find that students assigned by lottery to a tour of the museum improve their ability to think critically about art by 9 percent of a standard deviation relative to the control group. The benefit for disadvantaged groups is considerably larger (see Figure 1). Rural students, who live in towns with fewer than 10,000 people, experience an increase in critical-thinking skills of nearly one-third of a standard deviation. Students from high-poverty schools (those where more than 50 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches) experience an 18 percent effect-size improvement in critical thinking about art, as do minority students.

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    A large amount of the gain in critical-thinking skills stems from an increase in the number of observations that students made in their essays. Students who went on a tour became more observant, noticing and describing more details in an image. Being observant and paying attention to detail is an important and highly useful skill that students learn when they study and discuss works of art. Additional research is required to determine if the gains in critical thinking when analyzing a work of art would transfer into improved critical thinking about other, non-art-related subjects.

    Historical Empathy. Tours of art museums also affect students’ values. Visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas, peoples, places, and time periods. That broadening experience imparts greater appreciation and understanding. We see the effects in significantly higher historical empathy and tolerance measures among students randomly assigned to a school tour of Crystal Bridges.

    Historical empathy is the ability to understand and appreciate what life was like for people who lived in a different time and place. This is a central purpose of teaching history, as it provides students with a clearer perspective about their own time and place. To measure historical empathy, we included three statements on the survey with which students could express their level of agreement or disagreement: 1) I have a good understanding of how early Americans thought and felt; 2) I can imagine what life was like for people 100 years ago; and 3) When looking at a painting that shows people, I try to imagine what those people are thinking. We combined these items into a scale measuring historical empathy.

    Students who went on a tour of Crystal Bridges experience a 6 percent of a standard deviation increase in historical empathy. Among rural students, the benefit is much larger, a 15 percent of a standard deviation gain. We can illustrate this benefit by focusing on one of the items in the historical empathy scale. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “I have a good understanding of how early Americans thought and felt,” 70 percent of the treatment-group students express agreement compared to 66 percent of the control group. Among rural participants, 69 percent of the treatment-group students agree with this statement compared to 62 percent of the control group. The fact that Crystal Bridges features art from different periods in American history may have helped produce these gains in historical empathy.

    Tolerance. To measure tolerance we included four statements on the survey to which students could express their level of agreement or disagreement: 1) People who disagree with my point of view bother me; 2) Artists whose work is critical of America should not be allowed to have their work shown in art museums; 3) I appreciate hearing views different from my own; and 4) I think people can have different opinions about the same thing. We combined these items into a scale measuring the general effect of the tour on tolerance.

    Overall, receiving a school tour of an art museum increases student tolerance by 7 percent of a standard deviation. As with critical thinking, the benefits are much larger for students in disadvantaged groups. Rural students who visited Crystal Bridges experience a 13 percent of a standard deviation improvement in tolerance. For students at high-poverty schools, the benefit is 9 percent of a standard deviation.

    The improvement in tolerance for students who went on a tour of Crystal Bridges can be illustrated by the responses to one of the items within the tolerance scale. When asked about the statement, “Artists whose work is critical of America should not be allowed to have their work shown in art museums,” 35 percent of the control-group students express agreement. But for students randomly assigned to receive a school tour of the art museum, only 32 percent agree with censoring art critical of America. Among rural students, 34 percent of the control group would censor art compared to 30 percent for the treatment group. In high-poverty schools, 37 percent of the control-group students would censor compared to 32 percent of the treatment-group students. These differences are not huge, but neither is the intervention. These changes represent the realistic improvement in tolerance that results from a half-day experience at an art museum.

    Interest in Art Museums. Perhaps the most important outcome of a school tour is whether it cultivates an interest among students in returning to cultural institutions in the future. If visiting a museum helps improve critical thinking, historical empathy, tolerance, and other outcomes not measured in this study, then those benefits would compound for students if they were more likely to frequent similar cultural institutions throughout their life. The direct effects of a single visit are necessarily modest and may not persist, but if school tours help students become regular museum visitors, they may enjoy a lifetime of enhanced critical thinking, tolerance, and historical empathy.

    We measured how school tours of Crystal Bridges develop in students an interest in visiting art museums in two ways: with survey items and a behavioral measure. We included a series of items in the survey designed to gauge student interest:

    • I plan to visit art museums when I am an adult.

    • I would tell my friends they should visit an art museum.

    • Trips to art museums are interesting.

    • Trips to art museums are fun.

    • Would your friend like to go to an art museum on a field trip?

    • Would you like more museums in your community?

    • How interested are you in visiting art museums?

    • If your friends or family wanted to go to an art museum, how interested would you be in going?

    Interest in visiting art museums among students who toured the museum is 8 percent of a standard deviation higher than that in the randomized control group. Among rural students, the increase is much larger: 22 percent of a standard deviation. Students at high-poverty schools score 11 percent of a standard deviation higher on the cultural consumer scale if they were randomly assigned to tour the museum. And minority students gain 10 percent of a standard deviation in their desire to be art consumers.

    One of the eight items in the art consumer scale asked students to express the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I would tell my friends they should visit an art museum.” For all students who received a tour, 70 percent agree with this statement, compared to 66 percent in the control group. Among rural participants, 73 percent of the treatment-group students agree versus 63 percent of the control group. In high-poverty schools, 74 percent would recommend art museums to their friends compared to 68 percent of the control group. And among minority students, 72 percent of those who received a tour would tell their friends to visit an art museum, relative to 67 percent of the control group. Students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are more likely to have positive feelings about visiting museums if they receive a school tour.

    We also measured whether students are more likely to visit Crystal Bridges in the future if they received a school tour. All students who participated in the study during the first semester, including those who did not receive a tour, were provided with a coupon that gave them and their families free entry to a special exhibit at Crystal Bridges. The coupons were coded so that we could determine the applicant group to which students belonged. Students had as long as six months after receipt of the coupon to use it.

    We collected all redeemed coupons and were able to calculate how many adults and youths were admitted. Though students in the treatment group received 49 percent of all coupons that were distributed, 58 percent of the people admitted to the special exhibit with those coupons came from the treatment group. In other words, the families of students who received a tour were 18 percent more likely to return to the museum than we would expect if their rate of coupon use was the same as their share of distributed coupons.

    This is particularly impressive given that the treatment-group students had recently visited the museum. Their desire to visit a museum might have been satiated, while the control group might have been curious to visit Crystal Bridges for the first time. Despite having recently been to the museum, students who received a school tour came back at higher rates. Receiving a school tour cultivates a taste for visiting art museums, and perhaps for sharing the experience with others.

    Disadvantaged Students

    One consistent pattern in our results is that the benefits of a school tour are generally much larger for students from less-advantaged backgrounds. Students from rural areas and high-poverty schools, as well as minority students, typically show gains that are two to three times larger than those of the total sample. Disadvantaged students assigned by lottery to receive a school tour of an art museum make exceptionally large gains in critical thinking, historical empathy, tolerance, and becoming art consumers.

    It appears that the less prior exposure to culturally enriching experiences students have, the larger the benefit of receiving a school tour of a museum. We have some direct measures to support this explanation. To isolate the effect of the first time visiting the museum, we truncated our sample to include only control-group students who had never visited Crystal Bridges and treatment-group students who had visited for the first time during their tour. The effect for this first visit is roughly twice as large as that for the overall sample, just as it is for disadvantaged students.

    In addition, we administered a different version of our survey to students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. Very young students are less likely to have had previous exposure to culturally enriching experiences. Very young students make exceptionally large improvements in the observed outcomes, just like disadvantaged students and first-time visitors.

    When we examine effects for subgroups of advantaged students, we typically find much smaller or null effects. Students from large towns and low-poverty schools experience few significant gains from their school tour of an art museum. If schools do not provide culturally enriching experiences for these students, their families are likely to have the inclination and ability to provide those experiences on their own. But the families of disadvantaged students are less likely to substitute their own efforts when schools do not offer culturally enriching experiences. Disadvantaged students need their schools to take them on enriching field trips if they are likely to have these experiences at all.

    Policy Implications

    School field trips to cultural institutions have notable benefits. Students randomly assigned to receive a school tour of an art museum experience improvements in their knowledge of and ability to think critically about art, display stronger historical empathy, develop higher tolerance, and are more likely to visit such cultural institutions as art museums in the future. If schools cut field trips or switch to “reward” trips that visit less-enriching destinations, then these important educational opportunities are lost. It is particularly important that schools serving disadvantaged students provide culturally enriching field trip experiences.

    This first-ever, large-scale, random-assignment experiment of the effects of school tours of an art museum should help inform the thinking of school administrators, educators, policymakers, and philanthropists. Policymakers should consider these results when deciding whether schools have sufficient resources and appropriate policy guidance to take their students on tours of cultural institutions. School administrators should give thought to these results when deciding whether to use their resources and time for these tours. And philanthropists should weigh these results when deciding whether to build and maintain these cultural institutions with quality educational programs. We don’t just want our children to acquire work skills from their education; we also want them to develop into civilized people who appreciate the breadth of human accomplishments. The school field trip is an important tool for meeting this goal.

    Jay P. Greene is professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas, where Brian Kisida is a senior research associate and Daniel H. Bowen is a doctoral student.