Early Childhood Education (B.S.Ed.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Meca Williams-Johnson


Episodic memory is commonly described as a person’s unique recall of a specific event (Joordens, 2012, p. 105). Episodic memories can be triggered from senses such as sights and smells. People have been known to have detailed episodic memories, allowing them to remember extremely specific details from witnessed or experienced episodes in their lives. If episodic memory can be so strong in helping people remember given information, it is thought that they may be able to help people retain specific information when learning about new subjects. If this is the case, it is reasonable to wonder whether or not helping to create episodic memories could help young students learn about new topics. This current research project explored the episodic memories created on field trips that might help students relate to the curricular information that is intended from school field trips. Throughout the study “The Benefit of Field Trips,” the researcher completed a review of related literature to gain a better understanding of what episodic memory is and how it may relate to field trips. Using a qualitative research design, the researcher interviewed five pre-service teachers and five veteran teachers regarding their previous experiences with field trips and their perspectives on the benefits of Field Trips. Data was analyzed using a thematic approach. The results suggest that field trips can have a profound impact on students as they can expose them to new environments, may enhance their social skills, and serve to enhance the information developed in the curriculum.