A comparison was conducted between two tools of
environmental education: a trip in nature and a film that documented such
trip. The effects of the trip were examined as opposed to those of the film.
The subjects of this research were 9-10 children, divided to two groups. One
group went on a guided field trip in nature, and the other group watched a
video film that documented such trip. Tests were conducted in order to asses
the effects of the trip and the film according to five variables: factual
knowledge, identification of elements, visual and environmental memory, spatial
orientation, and emotional experience.
The results show that, in the short term, both the
trip and the film enable children, at a similar level, to remember factual
knowledge not directly related to the physical characteristics of the site.
However, for the long term, the trip has an advantage over the film with
respect to memorization of facts.
It was also found that through an actual trip, the levels
of perception and memory of facts and environmental characteristics, as well as
the levels of identifying elements in photographs, are higher than through
watching a film. Accordingly, the outcomes of learning are better and more
effective when the learning is done in an active way, such as by a field trip.
It was also found that a trip enables the acquiring of better spatial orientation,
and that it stimulates a stronger emotional experience that has a long term
effect on the child.