A guide to field studies

Last updated

18 April 2023

Reviewed by

Cathy Heath

Field studies allow researchers to observe and collect data in real-world settings. Unlike laboratory-based or traditional research methods, field studies enable researchers to investigate complex phenomena within their environment, providing a deeper understanding of the research context.

Researchers can use field studies to investigate a wide range of subjects, from the behavior of animals to the practices of businesses or the experiences of individuals in a particular setting.

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  • What is a field study?

A field study is a research method that involves conducting observations and collecting data in a natural setting. This method includes observing, interviewing, and interacting with participants in their environment, such as a workplace, community, or natural habitat.

Field studies can take many forms, from ethnographic studies involving extended periods of observation and using an anthropological lens to shorter-term studies focusing on specific behaviors or events. Regardless of its form, a successful field study requires careful planning, preparation, and execution to ensure the data collected is valid and reliable.

  • How to plan a field study

Planning a field study is a critical first step in ensuring successful research. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your field study:

1. Define your research question

When developing a good research question , you should make it clear, concise, and specific. It should also be open-ended, allowing for various possible answers rather than a simple yes or no response. Your research question should also be relevant to the broader field of study and contribute new knowledge to the existing literature.

Once you have a defined research question, identify the key variables you need to study and the data you need to collect. It might involve developing a hypothesis or research framework outlining the relationships between different variables and how you’ll measure them in your study.

2. Identify your research site

A research site is a location where you’ll conduct your study and collect data. Here are the types of research sites to consider when planning a field study:

Natural habitats: For environmental or ecological research, you may need to conduct your study in a natural habitat, such as a forest, wetland, or coral reef.

Communities : If your research relates to social or cultural factors, you may need to study a particular community, such as a neighborhood, village, or city.

Organizations : For questions relating to organizational behavior or management, your location will be in a business environment, like a nonprofit or government agency.

Events : If your research question relates to a particular event, you may need to conduct your study at that event, such as, at a protest, festival, or natural disaster.

Ensure your research site represents the population you're studying. For example, if you're exploring cultural beliefs, ensure the community represents the larger population and you have access to a diverse group of participants.

3. Determine your data collection methods

Choosing a suitable method will depend on the research question, the type of data needed, and the characteristics of the participants. Here are some commonly used data collection methods in field studies:

Interviews : You can collect data on people's experiences, perspectives, and attitudes. In some instances, you can use phone or online interviews.

Observations : This method involves watching and recording behaviors and interactions in a specific setting. 

Surveys : By using a survey , you can easily standardize and tailor the questions to provide answers for your research. Respondents can complete the survey in person, by mail, or online.

Document analysis : Organizational reports, letters, diaries, public records, policies, or social media posts can be analyzed to gain context. 

When selecting data collection methods, consider factors such as the availability of participants, the ethical considerations involved, and the resources needed to carry out each method. For example, conducting interviews may require more time and resources than administering a survey.

4. Obtain necessary permissions

Depending on the research location and the nature of the study, you may require permission from local authorities, organizations, or individuals before conducting your research. 

This process is vital when working with human or animal subjects and conducting research in sensitive or protected environments.

Here are some steps you can take to obtain the necessary permissions:

Identify the relevant authorities , including local governments, regulatory bodies, research institutions, or private organizations, to obtain permission for your research.

Reach out to the relevant authorities to explain the nature of your study. Be ready to hand out detailed information about your research. 

If you're conducting research with human participants, you must have their consent . You'll also need to ensure the participants have the right to withdraw from the study at any time.

Obtain necessary permits from regulatory bodies or local authorities. For example, if you're conducting research in a protected area, you may need a research permit from the relevant government agency.

The process of obtaining permissions can be time-consuming, and failure to obtain the necessary permits can lead to legal and ethical issues.

  • Examples of field research

Researchers can apply field research to a wide range of disciplines and phenomena. Here are some examples of field research in different fields:

Anthropology : Anthropologists use field research methods to study different communities' social and cultural practices. For instance, an anthropologist might conduct participant observation in a remote community to understand their customs, beliefs, and practices.

Ecology : Ecologists use field research methods to learn the behavior of organisms and their interactions with the environment. For example, an ecologist might conduct field research on the behavior of birds in their natural habitat to understand their feeding habits, nesting patterns, and migration.

Sociology : Sociologists may use field research methods to study social behavior and interactions. For instance, a sociologist might conduct participant observation in a workplace to understand organizational culture and communication dynamics.

Geography : Geographers use field research methods to study different regions’ physical and human contexts. For example, a geographer might conduct field research on the impact of climate change on a particular ecosystem, such as a forest or wetland.

Psychology : Psychologists use field research methods to study human behavior in natural settings. For instance, a psychologist might conduct field research on the effects of stress on students in a school setting.

Education : Researchers studying education may use field research methods to study teaching and learning in real-world settings. For example, you could use field research to test the effectiveness of a new teaching method in a classroom setting.

By using field research methods, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of the natural world, human behavior, and social interaction theory and how they affect each other.

  • Advantages of field research

Field research has several advantages over other research methods, including:

Authenticity : Field research conducted in natural settings allows researchers to observe and study real-life phenomena as it happens. This authenticity enhances the validity and accuracy of the data collected.

Flexibility : Field research methods are flexible and adaptable to different research contexts. Researchers can adjust their strategies to meet the specific needs of their research questions and participants and uncover new insights as the research unfolds.

Rich data : Field research provides rich and detailed data, often including contextual information that’s difficult to capture through other research methods. This depth of knowledge allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the research topic.

Novel insights : Field research can lead to discoveries that may not be possible with other research methods. Observing and studying phenomena in natural settings can provide unique perspectives and new understandings of complex issues.

Field research methods can enhance the quality and validity of research findings and lead to new insights and discoveries that may not be possible with other research methods.

  • Disadvantages of field research

While field research has several advantages, there are also some disadvantages that researchers need to consider, including:

Time-consuming : Researchers need to spend time in the field, possibly weeks or months, which can be challenging, especially if the research site is remote or requires travel.

Cost : Conducting field research can be costly, especially if the research site is remote or requires specialized equipment or materials.

Reliance on participants : It may be challenging to recruit participants, and various factors, such as personal circumstances, attitudes, and beliefs, may influence their participation.

Ethical considerations : Field research may raise ethical concerns, mainly if the research involves vulnerable populations or sensitive topics. 

Causality: Researchers may have little control over the environmental or contextual variables they are studying. This can make it difficult to establish causality and then generalize their results with previous research. 

Researchers must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of field research and select the most appropriate research method based on their research question, participants, and context.

What is another name for field study?

Field study is also known as field research or fieldwork. These terms are often used interchangeably and refer to research methods that involve observing and collecting data in natural settings.

What is the difference between a field study and a case study?

Why is field study important.

Field study is critical because it allows researchers to study real-world phenomena in natural settings. This study can also lead to novel insights that may not be possible with other research methods.

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Introduction, what is fieldwork, purpose of fieldwork, physical safety, mental wellbeing and affect, ethical considerations, remote fieldwork, concluding thoughts, acknowledgments, funder information.

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Field Research: A Graduate Student's Guide

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Ezgi Irgil, Anne-Kathrin Kreft, Myunghee Lee, Charmaine N Willis, Kelebogile Zvobgo, Field Research: A Graduate Student's Guide, International Studies Review , Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2021, Pages 1495–1517, https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viab023

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What is field research? Is it just for qualitative scholars? Must it be done in a foreign country? How much time in the field is “enough”? A lack of disciplinary consensus on what constitutes “field research” or “fieldwork” has left graduate students in political science underinformed and thus underequipped to leverage site-intensive research to address issues of interest and urgency across the subfields. Uneven training in Ph.D. programs has also left early-career researchers underprepared for the logistics of fieldwork, from developing networks and effective sampling strategies to building respondents’ trust, and related issues of funding, physical safety, mental health, research ethics, and crisis response. Based on the experience of five junior scholars, this paper offers answers to questions that graduate students puzzle over, often without the benefit of others’ “lessons learned.” This practical guide engages theory and praxis, in support of an epistemologically and methodologically pluralistic discipline.

¿Qué es la investigación de campo? ¿Es solo para académicos cualitativos? ¿Debe realizarse en un país extranjero? ¿Cuánto tiempo en el terreno es “suficiente”? La falta de consenso disciplinario con respecto a qué constituye la “investigación de campo” o el “trabajo de campo” ha causado que los estudiantes de posgrado en ciencias políticas estén poco informados y, por lo tanto, capacitados de manera insuficiente para aprovechar la investigación exhaustiva en el sitio con el objetivo de abordar los asuntos urgentes y de interés en los subcampos. La capacitación desigual en los programas de doctorado también ha provocado que los investigadores en las primeras etapas de su carrera estén poco preparados para la logística del trabajo de campo, desde desarrollar redes y estrategias de muestreo efectivas hasta generar la confianza de las personas que facilitan la información, y las cuestiones relacionadas con la financiación, la seguridad física, la salud mental, la ética de la investigación y la respuesta a las situaciones de crisis. Con base en la experiencia de cinco académicos novatos, este artículo ofrece respuestas a las preguntas que desconciertan a los estudiantes de posgrado, a menudo, sin el beneficio de las “lecciones aprendidas” de otras personas. Esta guía práctica incluye teoría y praxis, en apoyo de una disciplina pluralista desde el punto de vista epistemológico y metodológico.

En quoi consiste la recherche de terain ? Est-elle uniquement réservée aux chercheurs qualitatifs ? Doit-elle être effectuée dans un pays étranger ? Combien de temps faut-il passer sur le terrain pour que ce soit « suffisant » ? Le manque de consensus disciplinaire sur ce qui constitue une « recherche de terrain » ou un « travail de terrain » a laissé les étudiants diplômés en sciences politiques sous-informés et donc sous-équipés pour tirer parti des recherches de terrain intensives afin d'aborder les questions d'intérêt et d'urgence dans les sous-domaines. L'inégalité de formation des programmes de doctorat a mené à une préparation insuffisante des chercheurs en début de carrière à la logistique du travail de terrain, qu'il s'agisse du développement de réseaux et de stratégies d’échantillonnage efficaces, de l'acquisition de la confiance des personnes interrogées ou des questions de financement, de sécurité physique, de santé mentale, d’éthique de recherche et de réponse aux crises qui y sont associées. Cet article s'appuie sur l'expérience de cinq jeunes chercheurs pour proposer des réponses aux questions que les étudiants diplômés se posent, souvent sans bénéficier des « enseignements tirés » par les autres. Ce guide pratique engage théorie et pratique en soutien à une discipline épistémologiquement et méthodologiquement pluraliste.

Days before embarking on her first field research trip, a Ph.D. student worries about whether she will be able to collect the qualitative data that she needs for her dissertation. Despite sending dozens of emails, she has received only a handful of responses to her interview requests. She wonders if she will be able to gain more traction in-country. Meanwhile, in the midst of drafting her thesis proposal, an M.A. student speculates about the feasibility of his project, given a modest budget. Thousands of miles away from home, a postdoc is concerned about their safety, as protests erupt outside their window and state security forces descend into the streets.

These anecdotes provide a small glimpse into the concerns of early-career researchers undertaking significant projects with a field research component. Many of these fieldwork-related concerns arise from an unfortunate shortage in curricular offerings for qualitative and mixed-method research in political science graduate programs ( Emmons and Moravcsik 2020 ), 1 as well as the scarcity of instructional materials for qualitative and mixed-method research, relative to those available for quantitative research ( Elman, Kapiszewski, and Kirilova 2015 ; Kapiszewski, MacLean, and Read 2015 ; Mosley 2013 ). A recent survey among the leading United States Political Science programs in Comparative Politics and International Relations found that among graduate students who have carried out international fieldwork, 62 percent had not received any formal fieldwork training and only 20 percent felt very or mostly prepared for their fieldwork ( Schwartz and Cronin-Furman 2020 , 7–8). This shortfall in training and instruction means that many young researchers are underprepared for the logistics of fieldwork, from developing networks and effective sampling strategies to building respondents’ trust. In addition, there is a notable lack of preparation around issues of funding, physical safety, mental health, research ethics, and crisis response. This is troubling, as field research is highly valued and, in some parts of the field, it is all but expected, for instance in comparative politics.

Beyond subfield-specific expectations, research that leverages multiple types of data and methods, including fieldwork, is one of the ways that scholars throughout the discipline can more fully answer questions of interest and urgency. Indeed, multimethod work, a critical means by which scholars can parse and evaluate causal pathways, is on the rise ( Weller and Barnes 2016 ). The growing appearance of multimethod research in leading journals and university presses makes adequate training and preparation all the more significant ( Seawright 2016 ; Nexon 2019 ).

We are five political scientists interested in providing graduate students and other early-career researchers helpful resources for field research that we lacked when we first began our work. Each of us has recently completed or will soon complete a Ph.D. at a United States or Swedish university, though we come from many different national backgrounds. We have conducted field research in our home countries and abroad. From Colombia and Guatemala to the United States, from Europe to Turkey, and throughout East and Southeast Asia, we have spanned the globe to investigate civil society activism and transitional justice in post-violence societies, conflict-related sexual violence, social movements, authoritarianism and contentious politics, and the everyday politics and interactions between refugees and host-country citizens.

While some of us have studied in departments that offer strong training in field research methods, most of us have had to self-teach, learning through trial and error. Some of us have also been fortunate to participate in short courses and workshops hosted by universities such as the Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods and interdisciplinary institutions such as the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Recognizing that these opportunities are not available to or feasible for all, and hoping to ease the concerns of our more junior colleagues, we decided to compile our experiences and recommendations for first-time field researchers.

Our experiences in the field differ in several key respects, from the time we spent in the field to the locations we visited, and how we conducted our research. The diversity of our experiences, we hope, will help us reach and assist the broadest possible swath of graduate students interested in field research. Some of us have spent as little as ten days in a given country or as much as several months, in some instances visiting a given field site location just once and in other instances returning several times. At times, we have been able to plan weeks and months in advance. Other times, we have quickly arranged focus groups and impromptu interviews. Other times still, we have completed interviews virtually, when research participants were in remote locations or when we ourselves were unable to travel, of note during the coronavirus pandemic. We have worked in countries where we are fluent or have professional proficiency in the language, and in countries where we have relied on interpreters. We have worked in settings with precarious security as well as in locations that feel as comfortable as home. Our guide is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive. What we offer is a set of experience-based suggestions to be implemented as deemed relevant and appropriate by the researcher and their advisor(s).

In terms of the types of research and data sources and collection, we have conducted archival research, interviews, focus groups, and ethnographies with diplomats, bureaucrats, military personnel, ex-combatants, civil society advocates, survivors of political violence, refugees, and ordinary citizens. We have grappled with ethical dilemmas, chief among them how to get useful data for our research projects in ways that exceed the minimal standards of human subjects’ research evaluation panels. Relatedly, we have contemplated how to use our platforms to give back to the individuals and communities who have so generously lent us their time and knowledge, and shared with us their personal and sometimes harrowing stories.

Our target audience is first and foremost graduate students and early-career researchers who are interested in possibly conducting fieldwork but who either (1) do not know the full potential or value of fieldwork, (2) know the potential and value of fieldwork but think that it is excessively cost-prohibitive or otherwise infeasible, or (3) who have the interest, the will, and the means but not necessarily the know-how. We also hope that this resource will be of value to graduate programs, as they endeavor to better support students interested in or already conducting field research. Further, we target instructional faculty and graduate advisors (and other institutional gatekeepers like journal and book reviewers), to show that fieldwork does not have to be year-long, to give just one example. Instead, the length of time spent in the field is a function of the aims and scope of a given project. We also seek to formalize and normalize the idea of remote field research, whether conducted because of security concerns in conflict zones, for instance, or because of health and safety concerns, like the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, researchers in the field for shorter stints or who conduct fieldwork remotely should not be penalized.

We note that several excellent resources on fieldwork such as the bibliography compiled by Advancing Conflict Research (2020) catalogue an impressive list of articles addressing questions such as ethics, safety, mental health, reflexivity, and methods. Further resources can be found about the positionality of the researcher in the field while engaging vulnerable communities, such as in the research field of migration ( Jacobsen and Landau 2003 ; Carling, Bivand Erdal, and Ezzati 2014 ; Nowicka and Cieslik 2014 ; Zapata-Barrero and Yalaz 2019 ). However, little has been written beyond conflict-affected contexts, fragile settings, and vulnerable communities. Moreover, as we consulted different texts and resources, we found no comprehensive guide to fieldwork explicitly written with graduate students in mind. It is this gap that we aim to fill.

In this paper, we address five general categories of questions that graduate students puzzle over, often without the benefit of others’ “lessons learned.” First, What is field research? Is it just for qualitative scholars? Must it be conducted in a foreign country? How much time in the field is “enough”? Second, What is the purpose of fieldwork? When does it make sense to travel to a field site to collect data? How can fieldwork data be used? Third, What are the nuts and bolts? How does one get ready and how can one optimize limited time and financial resources? Fourth, How does one conduct fieldwork safely? What should a researcher do to keep themselves, research assistants, and research subjects safe? What measures should they take to protect their mental health? Fifth, How does one conduct ethical, beneficent field research?

Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic has impressed upon the discipline the volatility of research projects centered around in-person fieldwork. Lockdowns and closed borders left researchers sequestered at home and unable to travel, forced others to cut short any trips already begun, and unexpectedly confined others still to their fieldwork sites. Other factors that may necessitate a (spontaneous) readjustment of planned field research include natural disasters, a deteriorating security situation in the field site, researcher illness, and unexpected changes in personal circumstances. We, therefore, conclude with a section on the promise and potential pitfalls of remote (or virtual) fieldwork. Throughout this guide, we engage theory and praxis to support an epistemologically and methodologically pluralistic discipline.

The concept of “fieldwork” is not well defined in political science. While several symposia discuss the “nuts and bolts” of conducting research in the field within the pages of political science journals, few ever define it ( Ortbals and Rincker 2009 ; Hsueh, Jensenius, and Newsome 2014 ). Defining the concept of fieldwork is important because assumptions about what it is and what it is not underpin any suggestions for conducting it. A lack of disciplinary consensus about what constitutes “fieldwork,” we believe, explains the lack of a unified definition. Below, we discuss three areas of current disagreement about what “fieldwork” is, including the purpose of fieldwork, where it occurs, and how long it should be. We follow this by offering our definition of fieldwork.

First, we find that many in the discipline view fieldwork as squarely in the domain of qualitative research, whether interpretivist or positivist. However, field research can also serve quantitative projects—for example, by providing crucial context, supporting triangulation, or illustrating causal mechanisms. For instance, Kreft (2019) elaborated her theory of women's civil society mobilization in response to conflict-related sexual violence based on interviews she carried out in Colombia. She then examined cross-national patterns through statistical analysis. Conversely, Willis's research on the United States military in East Asia began with quantitative data collection and analysis of protest events before turning to fieldwork to understand why protests occurred in some instances but not others. Researchers can also find quantifiable data in the field that is otherwise unavailable to them at home ( Read 2006 ; Chambers-Ju 2014 ; Jensenius 2014 ). Accordingly, fieldwork is not in the domain of any particular epistemology or methodology as its purpose is to acquire data for further information.

Second, comparative politics and international relations scholars often opine that fieldwork requires leaving the country in which one's institution is based. Instead, we propose that what matters most is the nature of the research project, not the locale. For instance, some of us in the international relations subfield have interviewed representatives of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), whose headquarters are generally located in Global North countries. For someone pursuing a Ph.D. in the United States and writing on transnational advocacy networks, interviews with INGO representatives in New York certainly count as fieldwork ( Zvobgo 2020 ). Similarly, a graduate student who returns to her home country to interview refugees and native citizens is conducting a field study as much as a researcher for whom the context is wholly foreign. Such interviews can provide necessary insights and information that would not have been gained otherwise—one of the key reasons researchers conduct fieldwork in the first place. In other instances, conducting any in-person research is simply not possible, due to financial constraints, safety concerns, or other reasons. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many researchers to shift their face-to-face research plans to remote data collection, either over the phone or virtually ( Howlett 2021 , 2). For some research projects, gathering data through remote methods may yield the same if not similar information than in-person research ( Howlett 2021 , 3–4). As Howlett (2021 , 11) notes, digital platforms may offer researchers the ability to “embed ourselves in other contexts from a distance” and glimpse into our subjects’ lives in ways similar to in-person research. By adopting a broader definition of fieldwork, researchers can be more flexible in getting access to data sources and interacting with research subjects.

Third, there is a tendency, especially among comparativists, to only count fieldwork that spans the better part of a year; even “surgical strike” field research entails one to three months, according to some scholars ( Ortbals and Rincker 2009 ; Weiss, Hicken, and Kuhonta 2017 ). The emphasis on spending as much time as possible in the field is likely due to ethnographic research traditions, reflected in classics such as James Scott's Weapons of the Weak , which entail year-long stints of research. However, we suggest that the appropriate amount of time in the field should be assessed on a project-by-project basis. Some studies require the researcher to be in the field for long periods; others do not. For example, Willis's research on the discourse around the United States’ military presence in overseas host communities has required months in the field. By contrast, Kreft only needed ten days in New York to carry out interviews with diplomats and United Nations staff, in a context with which she already had some familiarity from a prior internship. Likewise, Zvobgo spent a couple of weeks in her field research sites, conducting interviews with directors and managers of prominent human rights nongovernmental organizations. This population is not so large as to require a whole month or even a few months. This has also been the case for Irgil, as she had spent one month in the field site conducting interviews with ordinary citizens. The goal of the project was to acquire information on citizens’ perceptions of refugees. As we discuss in the next section, when deciding how long to spend in the field, scholars must consider the information their project requires and consider the practicalities of fieldwork, notably cost.

Thus, we highlight three essential points in fieldwork and offer a definition accordingly: fieldwork involves acquiring information, using any set of appropriate data collection techniques, for qualitative, quantitative, or experimental analysis through embedded research whose location and duration is dependent on the project. We argue that adopting such a definition of “fieldwork” is necessary to include the multitude of forms fieldwork can take, including remote methods, whose value and challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has impressed upon the discipline.

When does a researcher need to conduct fieldwork? Fieldwork can be effective for (1) data collection, (2) theory building, and (3) theory testing. First, when a researcher is interested in a research topic, yet they could not find an available and/or reliable data source for the topic, fieldwork could provide the researcher with plenty of options. Some research agendas can require researchers to visit archives to review historical documents. For example, Greitens (2016) visited national archives in the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States to find historical documents about the development of coercive institutions in past authoritarian governments for her book, Dictators and Their Secret Police . Also, newly declassified archival documents can open new possibilities for researchers to examine restricted topics. To illustrate, thanks to the newly released archival records of the Chinese Communist Party's communications, and exchange of visits with the European communist world, Sarotte (2012) was able to study the Party's decision to crack down on Tiananmen protesters, which had previously been deemed as an unstudiable topic due to the limited data.

Other research agendas can require researchers to conduct (semistructured) in-depth interviews to understand human behavior or a situation more closely, for example, by revealing the meanings of concepts for people and showing how people perceive the world. For example, O'Brien and Li (2005) conducted in-depth interviews with activists, elites, and villagers to understand how these actors interact with each other and what are the outcomes of the interaction in contentious movements in rural China. Through research, they revealed that protests have deeply influenced all these actors’ minds, a fact not directly observable without in-depth interviews.

Finally, data collection through fieldwork should not be confined to qualitative data ( Jensenius 2014 ). While some quantitative datasets can be easily compiled or accessed through use of the internet or contact with data-collection agencies, other datasets can only be built or obtained through relationships with “gatekeepers” such as government officials, and thus require researchers to visit the field ( Jensenius 2014 ). Researchers can even collect their own quantitative datasets by launching surveys or quantifying data contained in archives. In a nutshell, fieldwork will allow researchers to use different techniques to collect and access original/primary data sources, whether these are qualitative, quantitative, or experimental in nature, and regardless of the intended method of analysis. 2

But fieldwork is not just for data collection as such. Researchers can accomplish two other fundamental elements of the research process: theory building and theory testing. When a researcher finds a case where existing theories about a phenomenon do not provide plausible explanations, they can build a theory through fieldwork ( Geddes 2003 ). Lee's experience provides a good example. When studying the rise of a protest movement in South Korea for her dissertation, Lee applied commonly discussed social movement theories, grievances, political opportunity, resource mobilization, and repression, to explain the movement's eruption and found that these theories do not offer a convincing explanation for the protest movement. She then moved on to fieldwork and conducted interviews with the movement participants to understand their motivations. Finally, through those interviews, she offered an alternative theory that the protest participants’ collective identity shaped during the authoritarian past played a unifying factor and eventually led them to participate in the movement. Her example shows that theorization can take place through careful review and rigorous inference during fieldwork.

Moreover, researchers can test their theory through fieldwork. Quantitative observational data has limitations in revealing causal mechanisms ( Esarey 2017 ). Therefore, many political scientists turn their attention to conducting field experiments or lab-in-the-field experiments to reveal causality ( Druckman et al. 2006 ; Beath, Christia, and Enikolopov 2013 ; Finseraas and Kotsadam 2017 ), or to leveraging in-depth insights or historical records gained through qualitative or archival research in process-tracing ( Collier 2011 ; Ricks and Liu 2018 ). Surveys and survey experiments may also be useful tools to substantiate a theoretical story or test a theory ( Marston 2020 ). Of course, for most Ph.D. students, especially those not affiliated with more extensive research projects, some of these options will be financially prohibitive.

A central concern for graduate students, especially those working with a small budget and limited time, is optimizing time in the field and integrating remote work. We offer three pieces of advice: have a plan, build in flexibility, and be strategic, focusing on collecting data that are unavailable at home. We also discuss working with local translators or research assistants. Before we turn to these more practical issues arising during fieldwork, we address a no less important issue: funding.

The challenge of securing funds is often overlooked in discussions of what constitutes field research. Months- or year-long in-person research can be cost-prohibitive, something academic gatekeepers must consider when evaluating “what counts” and “what is enough.” Unlike their predecessors, many graduate students today have a significant amount of debt and little savings. 3 Additionally, if researchers are not able to procure funding, they have to pay out of pocket and possibly take on more debt. Not only is in-person fieldwork costly, but researchers may also have to forego working while they are in the field, making long stretches in the field infeasible for some.

For researchers whose fieldwork involves travelling to another location, procuring funding via grants, fellowships, or other sources is a necessity, regardless of how long one plans to be in the field. A good mantra for applying for research funding is “apply early and often” ( Kelsky 2015 , 110). Funding applications take a considerable amount of time to prepare, from writing research statements to requesting letters of recommendation. Even adapting one's materials for different applications takes time. Not only is the application process itself time-consuming, but the time between applying for and receiving funds, if successful, can be quite long, from several months to a year. For example, after defending her prospectus in May 2019, Willis began applying to funding sources for her dissertation, all of which had deadlines between June and September. She received notifications between November and January; however, funds from her successful applications were not available until March and April, almost a year later. 4 Accordingly, we recommend applying for funding as early as possible; this not only increases one's chances of hitting the ground running in the field, but the application process can also help clarify the goals and parameters of one's research.

Graduate students should also apply often for funding opportunities. There are different types of funding for fieldwork: some are larger, more competitive grants such as the National Science Foundation Political Science Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in the United States, others, including sources through one's own institution, are smaller. Some countries, like Sweden, boast a plethora of smaller funding agencies that disburse grants of 20,000–30,0000 Swedish Kronor (approx. 2,500–3,500 U.S. dollars) to Ph.D. students in the social sciences. Listings of potential funding sources are often found on various websites including those belonging to universities, professional organizations (such as the American Political Science Association or the European Consortium for Political Research), and governmental institutions dealing with foreign affairs. Once you have identified fellowships and grants for which you and your project are a good match, we highly recommend soliciting information and advice from colleagues who have successfully applied for them. This can include asking them to share their applications with you, and if possible, to have them, another colleague or set of colleagues read through your project description and research plan (especially for bigger awards) to ensure that you have made the best possible case for why you should be selected. While both large and small pots of funding are worth applying for, many researchers end up funding their fieldwork through several small grants or fellowships. One small award may not be sufficient to fund the entirety of one's fieldwork, but several may. For example, Willis's fieldwork in Japan and South Korea was supported through fellowships within each country. Similarly, Irgil was able to conduct her fieldwork abroad through two different and relatively smaller grants by applying to them each year.

Of course, situations vary in different countries with respect to what kinds of grants from what kinds of funders are available. An essential part of preparing for fieldwork is researching the funding landscape well in advance, even as early as the start of the Ph.D. We encourage first-time field researchers to be aware that universities and departments may themselves not be aware of the full range of possible funds available, so it is always a good idea to do your own research and watch research-related social media channels. The amount of funding needed thereby depends on the nature of one's project and how long one intends to be in the field. As we elaborate in the next section, scholars should think carefully about their project goals, the data required to meet those goals, and the requisite time to attain them. For some projects, even a couple of weeks in the field is sufficient to get the needed information.

Preparing to Enter “the field”

It is important to prepare for the field as much as possible. What kind of preparations do researchers need? For someone conducting interviews with NGO representatives, this might involve identifying the largest possible pool of potential respondents, securing their contact information, sending them study invitation letters, finding a mutually agreeable time to meet, and pulling together short biographies for each interviewee in order to use your time together most effectively. If you plan to travel to conduct interviews, you should reach out to potential respondents roughly four to six weeks prior to your arrival. For individuals who do not respond, you can follow up one to two weeks before you arrive and, if needed, once more when you are there. This is still no guarantee for success, of course. For Kreft, contacting potential interviewees in Colombia initially proved more challenging than anticipated, as many of the people she targeted did not respond to her emails. It turned out that many Colombians have a preference for communicating via phone or, in particular, WhatsApp. Some of those who responded to her emails sent in advance of her field trip asked her to simply be in touch once she was in the country, to set up appointments on short notice. This made planning and arranging her interview schedule more complicated. Therefore, a general piece of advice is to research your target population's preferred communication channels and mediums in the field site if email requests yield no or few responses.

In general, we note for the reader that contacting potential research participants should come after one has designed an interview questionnaire (plus an informed consent protocol) and sought and received, where applicable, approval from institutional review boards (IRBs) or other ethical review procedures in place (both at one's home institution/in the country of the home institution as well as in the country where one plans to conduct research if travelling abroad). The most obvious advantage of having the interview questionnaire in place and having secured all necessary institutional approvals before you start contacting potential interviewees is that you have a clearer idea of the universe of individuals you would like to interview, and for what purpose. Therefore, it is better to start sooner rather than later and be mindful of “high seasons,” when institutional and ethical review boards are receiving, processing, and making decisions on numerous proposals. It may take a few months for them to issue approvals.

On the subject of ethics and review panels, we encourage you to consider talking openly and honestly with your supervisors and/or funders about the situations where a written consent form may not be suitable and might need to be replaced with “verbal consent.” For instance, doing fieldwork in politically unstable contexts, highly scrutinized environments, or vulnerable communities, like refugees, might create obstacles for the interviewees as well as the researcher. The literature discusses the dilemma in offering the interviewees anonymity and requesting signed written consent in addition to the emphasis on total confidentiality ( Jacobsen and Landau 2003 ; Mackenzie, McDowell, and Pittaway 2007 ; Saunders, Kitzinger, and Kitzinger 2015 ). Therefore, in those situations, the researcher might need to take the initiative on how to act while doing the interviews as rigorously as possible. In her fieldwork, Irgil faced this situation as the political context of Turkey did not guarantee that there would not be any adverse consequences for interviewees on both sides of her story: citizens of Turkey and Syrian refugees. Consequently, she took hand-written notes and asked interviewees for their verbal consent in a safe interview atmosphere. This is something respondents greatly appreciated ( Irgil 2020 ).

Ethical considerations, of course, also affect the research design itself, with ramifications for fieldwork. When Kreft began developing her Ph.D. proposal to study women's political and civil society mobilization in response to conflict-related sexual violence, she initially aimed to recruit interviewees from the universe of victims of this violence, to examine variation among those who did and those who did not mobilize politically. As a result of deeper engagement with the literature on researching conflict-related sexual violence, conversations with senior colleagues who had interviewed victims, and critical self-reflection of her status as a researcher (with no background in psychology or social work), she decided to change focus and shift toward representatives of civil society organizations and victims’ associations. This constituted a major reconfiguration of her research design, from one geared toward identifying the factors that drive mobilization of victims toward using insights from interviews to understand better how those mobilize perceive and “make sense” of conflict-related sexual violence. Needless to say, this required alterations to research strategies and interview guides, including reassessing her planned fieldwork. Kreft's primary consideration was not to cause harm to her research participants, particularly in the form of re-traumatization. She opted to speak only with those women who on account of their work are used to speaking about conflict-related sexual violence. In no instance did she inquire about interviewees’ personal experiences with sexual violence, although several brought this up on their own during the interviews.

Finally, if you are conducting research in another country where you have less-than-professional fluency in the language, pre-fieldwork planning should include hiring a translator or research assistant, for example, through an online hiring platform like Upwork, or a local university. Your national embassy or consulate is another option; many diplomatic offices have lists of individuals who they have previously contracted. More generally, establishing contact with a local university can be beneficial, either in the form of a visiting researcher arrangement, which grants access to research groups and facilities like libraries or informally contacting individual researchers. The latter may have valuable insights into the local context, contacts to potential research participants, and they may even be able to recommend translators or research assistants. Kreft, for example, hired local research assistants recommended by researchers at a Bogotá-based university and remunerated them equivalent to the salary they would have received as graduate research assistants at the university, while also covering necessary travel expenses. Irgil, on the other hand, established contacts with native citizens and Syrian gatekeepers, who are shop owners in the area where she conducted her research because she had the opportunity to visit the fieldwork site multiple times.

Depending on the research agenda, researchers may visit national archives, local government offices, etc. Before visiting, researchers should contact these facilities and make sure the materials that they need are accessible. For example, Lee visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Archives to find the United States’ strategic evaluations on South Korea's dictator in the 1980s. Before her visit, she contacted librarians in the archives, telling them her visit plans and her research purpose. Librarians made suggestions on which categories she should start to review based on her research goal, and thus she was able to make a list of categories of the materials she needed, saving her a lot of her time.

Accessibility of and access to certain facilities/libraries can differ depending on locations/countries and types of facilities. Facilities in authoritarian countries might not be easily accessible to foreign researchers. Within democratic countries, some facilities are more restrictive than others. Situations like the pandemic or national holidays can also restrict accessibility. Therefore, researchers are well advised to do preliminary research on whether a certain facility opens during the time they visit and is accessible to researchers regardless of their citizenship status. Moreover, researchers must contact the staff of facilities to know whether identity verification is needed and if so, what kind of documents (photo I.D. or passport) should be exhibited.

Adapting to the Reality of the Field

Researchers need to be flexible because you may meet people you did not make appointments with, come across opportunities you did not expect, or stumble upon new ideas about collecting data in the field. These happenings will enrich your field experience and will ultimately be beneficial for your research. Similarly, researchers should not be discouraged by interviews that do not go according to plan; they present an opportunity to pursue relevant people who can provide an alternative path to your work. Note that planning ahead does not preclude fortuitous encounters or epiphanies. Rather, it provides a structure for them to happen.

If your fieldwork entails travelling abroad, you will also be able to recruit more interviewees once you arrive at your research site. In fact, you may have greater success in-country; not everyone is willing to respond to a cold email from an unknown researcher in a foreign country. In Irgil's fieldwork, she contacted store owners that are known in the area and who know the community. This eased her process of introduction into the community and recruiting interviewees. For Zvobgo, she had fewer than a dozen interviews scheduled when she travelled to Guatemala to study civil society activism and transitional justice since the internal armed conflict. But she was able to recruit additional participants in-country. Interviewees with whom she built a rapport connected her to other NGOs, government offices, and the United Nations country office, sometimes even making the call and scheduling interviews for her. Through snowball sampling, she was able to triple the number of participants. Likewise, snowball sampling was central to Kreft's recruitment of interview partners. Several of her interviewees connected her to highly relevant individuals she would never have been able to identify and contact based on web searches alone.

While in the field, you may nonetheless encounter obstacles that necessitate adjustments to your original plans. Once Kreft had arrived in Colombia, for example, it transpired quickly that carrying out in-person interviews in more remote/rural areas was near impossible given her means, as these were not easily accessible by bus/coach, further complicated by a complex security situation. Instead, she adjusted her research design and shifted her focus to the big cities, where most of the major civil society organizations are based. She complemented the in-person interviews carried out there with a smaller number of phone interviews with civil society activists in rural areas, and she was also able to meet a few activists operating in rural or otherwise inaccessible areas as they were visiting the major cities. The resulting focus on urban settings changed the kinds of generalizations she was able to make based on her fieldwork data and produced a somewhat different study than initially anticipated.

This also has been the case for Irgil, despite her prior arrangements with the Syrian gatekeepers, which required adjustments as in the case of Kreft. Irgil acquired research clearance one year before, during the interviews with native citizens, conducting the interviews with Syrian refugees. She also had her questionnaire ready based on the previously collected data and the media search she had conducted for over a year before travelling to the field site. As she was able to visit the field site multiple times, two months before conducting interviews with Syrian refugees, she developed a schedule with the Syrian gatekeepers and informants. Yet, once she was in the field, influenced by Turkey's recent political events and the policy of increasing control over Syrian refugees, half of the previously agreed informants changed their minds or did not want to participate in interviews. As Irgil was following the policies and the news related to Syrian refugees in Turkey closely, this did not come as that big of a surprise but challenged the previously developed strategy to recruit interviewees. Thus, she changed the strategy of finding interviewees in the field site, such as asking people, almost one by one, whether they would like to participate in the interview. Eventually, she could not find willing Syrian women refugees as she had planned, which resulted in a male-dominant sample. As researchers encounter such situations, it is essential to remind oneself that not everything can go according to plan, that “different” does not equate to “worse,” but that it is important to consider what changes to fieldwork data collection and sampling imply for the study's overall findings and the contribution it makes to the literature.

We should note that conducting interviews is very taxing—especially when opportunities multiply, as in Zvobgo's case. Depending on the project, each interview can take an hour, if not two or more. Hence, you should make a reasonable schedule: we recommend no more than two interviews per day. You do not want to have to cut off an interview because you need to rush to another one, whether the interviews are in-person or remote. And you do not want to be too exhausted to have a robust engagement with your respondent who is generously lending you their time. Limiting the number of interviews per day is also important to ensure that you can write comprehensive and meaningful fieldnotes, which becomes even more essential where it is not possible to audio-record your interviews. Also, be sure to remember to eat, stay hydrated, and try to get enough sleep.

Finally, whether to provide gifts or payments to the subject also requires adapting to the reality of the field. You must think about payments beforehand when you apply for IRB approval (or whatever other ethical review processes may be in place) since these applications usually contain questions about payments. Obviously, the first step is to carefully evaluate whether the gifts and payments provided can harm the subject or are likely to unduly affect the responses they will give in response to your questions. If that is not the case, you have to make payment decisions based on your budget, field situation, and difficulties in recruitment. Usually, payment of respondents is more common in survey research, whereas it is less common in interviews and focus groups.

Nevertheless, payment practices vary depending on the field and the target group. In some cases, it may become a custom to provide small gifts or payments when interviewing a certain group. In other cases, interviewees might be offended if they are provided with money. Therefore, knowing past practices and field situations is important. For example, Lee provided small coffee gift cards to one group while she did not to the other based on previous practices of other researchers. That is, for a particular group, it has become a custom for interviewers to pay interviewees. Sometimes, you may want to reimburse your subject's interview costs such as travel expenses and provide beverages and snacks during the conduct of research, as Kreft did when conducting focus groups in Colombia. To express your gratitude to your respondents, you can prepare small gifts such as your university memorabilia (e.g., notebooks and pens). Since past practices about payments can affect your interactions and interviews with a target group, you want to seek advice from your colleagues and other researchers who had experiences interacting with the target group. If you cannot find researchers who have this knowledge, you can search for published works on the target population to find if the authors share their interview experiences. You may also consider contacting the authors for advice before your interviews.

Researching Strategically

Distinguishing between things that can only be done in person at a particular site and things that can be accomplished later at home is vital. Prioritize the former over the latter. Lee's fieldwork experience serves as a good example. She studied a conservative protest movement called the Taegeukgi Rally in South Korea. She planned to conduct interviews with the rally participants to examine their motivations for participating. But she only had one month in South Korea. So, she focused on things that could only be done in the field: she went to the rally sites, she observed how protests proceeded, which tactics and chants were used, and she met participants and had some casual conversations with them. Then, she used the contacts she made while attending the rallies to create a social network to solicit interviews from ordinary protesters, her target population. She was able to recruit twenty-five interviewees through good rapport with the people she met. The actual interviews proceeded via phone after she returned to the United States. In a nutshell, we advise you not to be obsessed with finishing interviews in the field. Sometimes, it is more beneficial to use your time in the field to build relationships and networks.

Working With Assistants and Translators

A final consideration on logistics is working with research assistants or translators; it affects how you can carry out interviews, focus groups, etc. To what extent constant back-and-forth translation is necessary or advisable depends on the researcher's skills in the interview language and considerations about time and efficiency. For example, Kreft soon realized that she was generally able to follow along quite well during her interviews in Colombia. In order to avoid precious time being lost to translation, she had her research assistant follow the interview guide Kreft had developed, and interjected follow-up questions in Spanish or English (then to be translated) as they arose.

Irgil's and Zvobgo's interviews went a little differently. Irgil's Syrian refugee interviewees in Turkey were native Arabic speakers, and Zvobgo's interviewees in Guatemala were native Spanish speakers. Both Irgil and Zvobgo worked with research assistants. In Irgil's case, her assistant was a Syrian man, who was outside of the area. Meanwhile, Zvobgo's assistant was an undergraduate from her home institution with a Spanish language background. Irgil and Zvobgo began preparing their assistants a couple of months before entering the field, over Skype for Irgil and in-person for Zvobgo. They offered their assistants readings and other resources to provide them with the necessary background to work well. Both Irgil and Zvobgo's research assistants joined them in the interviews and actually did most of the speaking, introducing the principal investigator, explaining the research, and then asking the questions. In Zvobgo's case, interviewee responses were relayed via a professional interpreter whom she had also hired. After every interview, Irgil and Zvobgo and their respective assistants discussed the answers of the interviewees, potential improvements in phrasing, and elaborated on their hand-written interview notes. As a backup, Zvobgo, with the consent of her respondents, had accompanying audio recordings.

Researchers may carry out fieldwork in a country that is considerably less safe than what they are used to, a setting affected by conflict violence or high crime rates, for instance. Feelings of insecurity can be compounded by linguistic barriers, cultural particularities, and being far away from friends and family. Insecurity is also often gendered, differentially affecting women and raising the specter of unwanted sexual advances, street harassment, or even sexual assault ( Gifford and Hall-Clifford 2008 ; Mügge 2013 ). In a recent survey of Political Science graduate students in the United States, about half of those who had done fieldwork internationally reported having encountered safety issues in the field, (54 percent female, 47 percent male), and only 21 percent agreed that their Ph.D. programs had prepared them to carry out their fieldwork safely ( Schwartz and Cronin-Furman 2020 , 8–9).

Preventative measures scholars may adopt in an unsafe context may involve, at their most fundamental, adjustments to everyday routines and habits, restricting one's movements temporally and spatially. Reliance on gatekeepers may also necessitate adopting new strategies, such as a less vehement and cold rejection of unwanted sexual advances than one ordinarily would exhibit, as Mügge (2013) illustratively discusses. At the same time, a competitive academic job market, imperatives to collect novel and useful data, and harmful discourses surrounding dangerous fieldwork also, problematically, shape incentives for junior researchers to relax their own standards of what constitutes acceptable risk ( Gallien 2021 ).

Others have carefully collected a range of safety precautions that field researchers in fragile or conflict-affected settings may take before and during fieldwork ( Hilhorst et al. 2016 ). Therefore, we are more concise in our discussion of recommendations, focusing on the specific situations of graduate students. Apart from ensuring that supervisors and university administrators have the researcher's contact information in the field (and possibly also that of a local contact person), researchers can register with their country's embassy or foreign office and any crisis monitoring and prevention systems it has in place. That way, they will be informed of any possible unfolding emergencies and the authorities have a record of them being in the country.

It may also be advisable to set up more individualized safety protocols with one or two trusted individuals, such as friends, supervisors, or colleagues at home or in the fieldwork setting itself. The latter option makes sense in particular if one has an official affiliation with a local institution for the duration of the fieldwork, which is often advisable. Still, we would also recommend establishing relationships with local researchers in the absence of a formal affiliation. To keep others informed of her whereabouts, Kreft, for instance, made arrangements with her supervisors to be in touch via email at regular intervals to report on progress and wellbeing. This kept her supervisors in the loop, while an interruption in communication would have alerted them early if something were wrong. In addition, she announced planned trips to other parts of the country and granted her supervisors and a colleague at her home institution emergency reading access to her digital calendar. To most of her interviews, she was moreover accompanied by her local research assistant/translator. If the nature of the research, ethical considerations, and the safety situation allow, it might also be possible to bring a local friend along to interviews as an “assistant,” purely for safety reasons. This option needs to be carefully considered already in the planning stage and should, particularly in settings of fragility or if carrying out research on politically exposed individuals, be noted in any ethical and institutional review processes where these are required. Adequate compensation for such an assistant should be ensured. It may also be advisable to put in place an emergency plan, that is, choose emergency contacts back home and “in the field,” know whom to contact if something happens, and know how to get to the nearest hospital or clinic.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that, when in an unfamiliar context, one's safety radar may be misguided, so it is essential to listen to people who know the context. For example, locals can give advice on which means of transport are safe and which are not, a question that is of the utmost importance when traveling to appointments. For example, Kreft was warned that in Colombia regular taxis are often unsafe, especially if waved down in the streets, and that to get to her interviews safely, she should rely on a ride-share service. In one instance, a Colombian friend suggested that when there was no alternative to a regular taxi, Kreft should book through the app and share the order details, including the taxi registration number or license plate, with a friend. Likewise, sharing one's cell phone location with a trusted friend while traveling or when one feels unsafe may be a viable option. Finally, it is prudent to heed the safety recommendations and travel advisories provided by state authorities and embassies to determine when and where it is safe to travel. Especially if researchers have a responsibility not only for themselves but also for research assistants and research participants, safety must be a top priority.

This does not mean that a researcher should be careless in a context they know either. Of course, conducting fieldwork in a context that is known to the researcher offers many advantages. However, one should be prepared to encounter unwanted events too. For instance, Irgil has conducted fieldwork in her country of origin in a city she knows very well. Therefore, access to the site, moving around the site, and blending in has not been a problem; she also has the advantage of speaking the native language. Yet, she took notes of the streets she walked in, as she often returned from the field site after dark and thought she might get confused after a tiring day. She also established a closer relationship with two or three store owners in different parts of the field site if she needed something urgent, like running out of battery. Above all, one should always be aware of one's surroundings and use common sense. If something feels unsafe, chances are it is.

Fieldwork may negatively affect the researcher's mental health and mental wellbeing regardless of where one's “field” is, whether related to concerns about crime and insecurity, linguistic barriers, social isolation, or the practicalities of identifying, contacting and interviewing research participants. Coping with these different sources of stress can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Then there are the things you may hear, see and learn during the research itself, such as gruesome accounts of violence and suffering conveyed in interviews or archival documents one peruses. Kreft and Zvobgo have spoken with women victims of conflict-related sexual violence, who sometimes displayed strong emotions of pain and anger during the interviews. Likewise, Irgil and Willis have spoken with members of other vulnerable populations such as refugees and former sex workers ( Willis 2020 ).

Prior accounts ( Wood 2006 ; Loyle and Simoni 2017 ; Skjelsbæk 2018 ; Hummel and El Kurd 2020 ; Williamson et al. 2020 ; Schulz and Kreft 2021 ) show that it is natural for sensitive research and fieldwork challenges to affect or even (vicariously) traumatize the researcher. By removing researchers from their regular routines and support networks, fieldwork may also exacerbate existing mental health conditions ( Hummel and El Kurd 2020 ). Nonetheless, mental wellbeing is rarely incorporated into fieldwork courses and guidelines, where these exist at all. But even if you know to anticipate some sort of reaction, you rarely know what that reaction will be until you experience it. When researching sensitive or difficult topics, for example, reactions can include sadness, frustration, anger, fear, helplessness, and flashbacks to personal experiences of violence ( Williamson et al. 2020 ). For example, Kreft responded with episodic feelings of depression and both mental and physical exhaustion. But curiously, these reactions emerged most strongly after she had returned from fieldwork and in particular as she spent extended periods analyzing her interview data, reliving some of the more emotional scenes during the interviews and being confronted with accounts of (sexual) violence against women in a concentrated fashion. This is a crucial reminder that fieldwork does not end when one returns home; the after-effects may linger. Likewise, Zvobgo was physically and mentally drained upon her return from the field. Both Kreft and Zvobgo were unable to concentrate for long periods of time and experienced lower-than-normal levels of productivity for weeks afterward, patterns that formal and informal conversations with other scholars confirm to be common ( Schulz and Kreft 2021 ). Furthermore, the boundaries between “field” and “home” are blurred when conducting remote fieldwork ( Howlett 2021 , 11).

Nor are these adverse reactions limited to cases where the researcher has carried out the interviews themselves. Accounts of violence, pain, and suffering transported in reports, secondary literature, or other sources can evoke similar emotional stress, as Kreft experienced when engaging in a concentrated fashion with additional accounts of conflict-related sexual violence in Colombia and with the feminist literature on sexual and gender-based violence in the comfort of her Swedish office. This could also be applicable to Irgil's fieldwork as she interviewed refugees whose traumas have come out during the interviews or recall specific events triggered by the questions. Likewise, Lee has reviewed primary and secondary materials on North Korean defectors in the national archives and these materials contain violent, intense, emotional narratives.

Fortunately, there are several strategies to cope with and manage such adverse consequences. In a candid and insightful piece, other researchers have discussed the usefulness of distractions, sharing with colleagues, counseling, exercise, and, probably less advisable in the long term, comfort eating and drinking ( Williamson et al. 2020 ; see also Loyle and Simoni 2017 ; Hummel and El Kurd 2020 ). Our experiences largely tally with their observations. In this section, we explore some of these in more detail.

First, in the face of adverse consequences on your mental wellbeing, whether in the field or after your return, it is essential to be patient and generous with yourself. Negative effects on the researcher's mental wellbeing can hit in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Even if you think that certain reactions are disproportionate or unwarranted at that specific moment, they may simply have been building up over a long time. They are legitimate. Second, the importance of taking breaks and finding distractions, whether that is exercise, socializing with friends, reading a good book, or watching a new series, cannot be overstated. It is easy to fall into a mode of thinking that you constantly have to be productive while you are “in the field,” to maximize your time. But as with all other areas in life, balance is key and rest is necessary. Taking your mind off your research and the research questions you puzzle over is also a good way to more fully soak up and appreciate the context in which you find yourself, in the case of in-person fieldwork, and about which you ultimately write.

Third, we cannot stress enough the importance of investing in social relations. Before going on fieldwork, researchers may want to consult others who have done it before them. Try to find (junior) scholars who have done fieldwork on similar kinds of topics or in the same country or countries you are planning to visit. Utilizing colleagues’ contacts and forging connections using social media are valuable strategies to expand your networks (in fact, this very paper is the result of a social media conversation and several of the authors have never met in person). Having been in the same situation before, most field researchers are, in our experience, generous with their time and advice. Before embarking on her first trip to Colombia, Kreft contacted other researchers in her immediate and extended network and received useful advice on questions such as how to move around Bogotá, whom to speak to, and how to find a research assistant. After completing her fieldwork, she has passed on her experiences to others who contacted her before their first fieldwork trip. Informal networks are, in the absence of more formalized fieldwork preparation, your best friend.

In the field, seeking the company of locals and of other researchers who are also doing fieldwork alleviates anxiety and makes fieldwork more enjoyable. Exchanging experiences, advice and potential interviewee contacts with peers can be extremely beneficial and make the many challenges inherent in fieldwork (on difficult topics) seem more manageable. While researchers conducting remote fieldwork may be physically isolated from other researchers, even connecting with others doing remote fieldwork may be comforting. And even when there are no precise solutions to be found, it is heartening or even cathartic to meet others who are in the same boat and with whom you can talk through your experiences. When Kreft shared some of her fieldwork-related struggles with another researcher she had just met in Bogotá and realized that they were encountering very similar challenges, it was like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. Similarly, peer support can help with readjustment after the fieldwork trip, even if it serves only to reassure you that a post-fieldwork dip in productivity and mental wellbeing is entirely natural. Bear in mind that certain challenges are part of the fieldwork experience and that they do not result from inadequacy on the part of the researcher.

Finally, we would like to stress a point made by Inger Skjelsbæk (2018 , 509) and which has not received sufficient attention: as a discipline, we need to take the question of researcher mental wellbeing more seriously—not only in graduate education, fieldwork preparation, and at conferences, but also in reflecting on how it affects the research process itself: “When strong emotions arise, through reading about, coding, or talking to people who have been impacted by [conflict-related sexual violence] (as victims or perpetrators), it may create a feeling of being unprofessional, nonscientific, and too subjective.”

We contend that this is a challenge not only for research on sensitive issues but also for fieldwork more generally. To what extent is it possible, and desirable, to uphold the image of the objective researcher during fieldwork, when we are at our foundation human beings? And going even further, how do the (anticipated) effects of our research on our wellbeing, and the safety precautions we take ( Gifford and Hall-Clifford 2008 ), affect the kinds of questions we ask, the kinds of places we visit and with whom we speak? How do they affect the methods we use and how we interpret our findings? An honest discussion of affective responses to our research in methods sections seems utopian, as emotionality in the research process continues to be silenced and relegated to the personal, often in gendered ways, which in turn is considered unconnected to the objective and scientific research process ( Jamar and Chappuis 2016 ). But as Gifford and Hall-Clifford (2008 , 26) aptly put it: “Graduate education should acknowledge the reality that fieldwork is scholarly but also intimately personal,” and we contend that the two shape each other. Therefore, we encourage political science as a discipline to reflect on researcher wellbeing and affective responses to fieldwork more carefully, and we see the need for methods courses that embrace a more holistic notion of the subjectivity of the researcher.

Interacting with people in the field is one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of the work that we do, especially in comparison to impersonal, often tedious wrangling and analysis of quantitative data. Field researchers often make personal connections with their interviewees. Consequently, maintaining boundaries can be a bit tricky. Here, we recommend being honest with everyone with whom you interact without overstating the abilities of a researcher. This appears as a challenge in the field, particularly when you empathize with people and when they share profound parts of their lives with you for your research in addition to being “human subjects” ( Fujii 2012 ). For instance, when Irgil interviewed native citizens about the changes in their neighborhood following the arrival of Syrian refugees, many interviewees questioned what she would offer them in return for their participation. Irgil responded that her primary contribution would be her published work. She also noted, however, that academic papers can take a year, sometimes longer, to go through the peer-reviewed process and, once published, many studies have a limited audience. The Syrian refugees posed similar questions. Irgil responded not only with honesty but also, given this population's vulnerable status, she provided them contact information for NGOs with which they could connect if they needed help or answers to specific questions.

For her part, Zvobgo was very upfront with her interviewees about her role as a researcher: she recognized that she is not someone who is on the frontlines of the fight for human rights and transitional justice like they are. All she could/can do is use her platform to amplify their stories, bringing attention to their vital work through her future peer-reviewed publications. She also committed to sending them copies of the work, as electronic journal articles are often inaccessible due to paywalls and university press books are very expensive, especially for nonprofits. Interviewees were very receptive; some were even moved by the degree of self-awareness and the commitment to do right by them. In some cases, this prompted them to share even more, because they knew that the researcher was really there to listen and learn. This is something that junior scholars, and all scholars really, should always remember. We enter the field to be taught. Likewise, Kreft circulated among her interviewees Spanish-language versions of an academic article and a policy brief based on the fieldwork she had carried out in Colombia.

As researchers from the Global North, we recognize a possible power differential between us and our research subjects, and certainly an imbalance in power between the countries where we have been trained and some of the countries where we have done and continue to do field research, particularly in politically dynamic contexts ( Knott 2019 ). This is why we are so concerned with being open and transparent with everyone with whom we come into contact in the field and why we are committed to giving back to those who so generously lend us their time and knowledge. Knott (2019 , 148) summarizes this as “Reflexive openness is a form of transparency that is methodologically and ethically superior to providing access to data in its raw form, at least for qualitative data.”

We also recognize that academics, including in the social sciences and especially those hailing from countries in the Global North, have a long and troubled history of exploiting their power over others for the sake of their research—including failing to be upfront about their research goals, misrepresenting the on-the-ground realities of their field research sites (including remote fieldwork), and publishing essentializing, paternalistic, and damaging views and analyses of the people there. No one should build their career on the backs of others, least of all in a field concerned with the possession and exercise of power. Thus, it is highly crucial to acknowledge the power hierarchies between the researcher and the interviewees, and to reflect on them both in the field and beyond the field upon return.

A major challenge to conducting fieldwork is when researchers’ carefully planned designs do not go as planned due to unforeseen events outside of our control, such as pandemics, natural disasters, deteriorating security situations in the field, or even the researcher falling ill. As the Covid-19 pandemic has made painfully clear, researchers may face situations where in-person research is simply not possible. In some cases, researchers may be barred entry to their fieldwork site; in others, the ethical implications of entering the field greatly outweigh the importance of fieldwork. Such barriers to conducting in-person research require us to reconsider conventional notions of what constitutes fieldwork. Researchers may need to shift their data collection methods, for example, conducting interviews remotely instead of in person. Even while researchers are in the field, they may still need to carry out part of their interviews or surveys virtually or by phone. For example, Kreft (2020) carried out a small number of interviews remotely while she was based in Bogotá, because some of the women's civil society activists with whom she intended to speak were based in parts of the country that were difficult and/or dangerous to access.

Remote field research, which we define as the collection of data over the internet or over the phone where in-person fieldwork is not possible due to security, health or other risks, comes with its own sets of challenges. For one, there may be certain populations that researchers cannot reach remotely due to a lack of internet connectivity or technology such as cellphones and computers. In such instances, there will be a sampling bias toward individuals and groups that do have these resources, a point worth noting when scholars interpret their research findings. In the case of virtual research, the risk of online surveillance, hacking, or wiretapping may also produce reluctance on the part of interviewees to discuss sensitive issues that may compromise their safety. Researchers need to carefully consider how the use of digital technology may increase the risk to research participants and what changes to the research design and any interview guides this necessitates. In general, it is imperative that researchers reflect on how they can ethically use digital technology in their fieldwork ( Van Baalen 2018 ). Remote interviews may also be challenging to arrange for researchers who have not made connections in person with people in their community of interest.

Some of the serendipitous happenings we discussed earlier may also be less likely and snowball sampling more difficult. For example, in phone or virtual interviews, it is harder to build good rapport and trust with interviewees as compared to face-to-face interviews. Accordingly, researchers should be more careful in communicating with interviewees and creating a comfortable interview environment. Especially when dealing with sensitive topics, researchers may have to make several phone calls and sometimes have to open themselves to establishing trust with interviewees. Also, researchers must be careful in protecting interviewees in phone or virtual interviews when they deal with sensitive topics of countries interviewees reside in.

The inability to physically visit one's community of interest may also encourage scholars to critically reflect on how much time in the field is essential to completing their research and to consider creative, alternative means for accessing information to complete their projects. While data collection techniques such as face-to-face interviews and archival work in the field may be ideal in normal times, there exist other data sources that can provide comparably useful information. For example, in her research on the role of framing in the United States base politics, Willis found that social media accounts and websites yielded information useful to her project. Many archives across the world have also been digitized. Researchers may also consider crowdsourcing data from the field among their networks, as fellow academics tend to collect much more data in the field than they ever use in their published works. They may also elect to hire someone, perhaps a graduate student, in a city or a country where they cannot travel and have the individual access, scan, and send archival materials. This final suggestion may prove generally useful to researchers with limited time and financial resources.

Remote qualitative data collection techniques, while they will likely never be “the gold-standard,” also pose several advantages. These techniques may help researchers avoid some of the issues mentioned previously. Remote interviews, for example, are less time-consuming in terms of travel to the interview site ( Archibald et al. 2019 ). The implication is that researchers may have less fatigue from conducting interviews and/or may be able to conduct more interviews. For example, while Willis had little energy to do anything else after an in-person interview (or two) in a given day, she had much more energy after completing remote interviews. Second, remote fieldwork also helps researchers avoid potentially dangerous situations in the field mentioned previously. Lastly, remote fieldwork generally presents fewer financial barriers than in-person research ( Archibald et al. 2019 ). In that sense, considering remote qualitative data collection, a type of “fieldwork” may make fieldwork more accessible to a greater number of scholars.

Many of the substantive, methodological and practical challenges that arise during fieldwork can be anticipated. Proper preparation can help you hit the ground running once you enter your fieldwork destination, whether in-person or virtually. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as being perfectly prepared for the field. Some things will simply be beyond your control, and especially as a newcomer to field research, and you should be prepared for things to not go as planned. New questions will arise, interview participants may cancel appointments, and you might not get the answers you expected. Be ready to make adjustments to research plans, interview guides, or questionnaires. And, be mindful of your affective reactions to the overall fieldwork situation and be gentle with yourself.

We recommend approaching fieldwork as a learning experience as much as, or perhaps even more than, a data collection effort. This also applies to your research topic. While it is prudent always to exercise a healthy amount of skepticism about what people tell you and why, the participants in your research will likely have unique perspectives and knowledge that will challenge yours. Be an attentive listener and remember that they are experts of their own experiences.

We encourage more institutions to offer courses that cover field research preparation and planning, practical advice on safety and wellbeing, and discussion of ethics. Specifically, we align with Schwartz and Cronin-Furman's (2020 , 3) contention “that treating fieldwork preparation as the methodology will improve individual scholars’ experiences and research.” In this article, we outline a set of issue areas in which we think formal preparation is necessary, but we note that our discussion is by no means exhaustive. Formal fieldwork preparation should also extend beyond what we have covered in this article, such as issues of data security and preparing for nonqualitative fieldwork methods. We also note that field research is one area that has yet to be comprehensively addressed in conversations on diversity and equity in the political science discipline and the broader academic profession. In a recent article, Brielle Harbin (2021) begins to fill this gap by sharing her experiences conducting in-person election surveys as a Black woman in a conservative and predominantly white region of the United States and the challenges that she encountered. Beyond race and gender, citizenship, immigration status, one's Ph.D. institution and distance to the field also affect who is able to do what type of field research, where, and for how long. Future research should explore these and related questions in greater detail because limits on who is able to conduct field research constrict the sociological imagination of our field.

While Emmons and Moravcsik (2020) focus on leading Political Science Ph.D. programs in the United States, these trends likely obtain, both in lower ranked institutions in the broader United States as well as in graduate education throughout North America and Europe.

As all the authors have carried out qualitative fieldwork, this is the primary focus of this guide. This does not, however, mean that we exclude quantitative or experimental data collection from our definition of fieldwork.

There is great variation in graduate students’ financial situations, even in the Global North. For example, while higher education is tax-funded in most countries in Europe and Ph.D. students in countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland receive a comparatively generous full-time salary, healthcare and contributions to pension schemes, Ph.D. programs in other contexts like the United States and the United Kingdom have (high) enrollment fees and rely on scholarships, stipends, or departmental duties like teaching to (partially) offset these, while again others, such as Germany, are commonly financed by part-time (50 percent) employment at the university with tasks substantively unrelated to the dissertation. These different preconditions leave many Ph.D. students struggling financially and even incurring debt, while others are in a more comfortable financial position. Likewise, Ph.D. programs around the globe differ in structure, such as required coursework, duration and supervision relationships. Naturally, all of these factors have a bearing on the extent to which fieldwork is feasible. We acknowledge unequal preconditions across institutions and contexts, and trust that those Ph.D. students interested in pursuing fieldwork are best able to assess the structural and institutional context in which they operate and what this implies for how, when, and how long to carry out fieldwork.

In our experience, this is not only the general cycle for graduate students in North America, but also in Europe and likely elsewhere.

For helpful advice and feedback on earlier drafts, we wish to thank the editors and reviewers at International Studies Review , and Cassandra Emmons. We are also grateful to our interlocuters in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Kenya, Norway, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, without whom this reflection on fieldwork would not have been possible. All authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

This material is based upon work supported by the Forskraftstiftelsen Theodor Adelswärds Minne, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation(KAW 2013.0178), National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program(DGE-1418060), Southeast Asia Research Group (Pre-Dissertation Fellowship), University at Albany (Initiatives for Women and the Benevolent Association), University of Missouri (John D. Bies International Travel Award Program and Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy), University of Southern California (Provost Fellowship in the Social Sciences), Vetenskapsrådet(Diarienummer 2019-06298), Wilhelm och Martina Lundgrens Vetenskapsfond(2016-1102; 2018-2272), and William & Mary (Global Research Institute Pre-doctoral Fellowship).

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The Benefits of Field Study

Lafayette students studying a landscape in central Iceland.

Lafayette students studying a landscape in central Iceland.

Taking a class outside of the classroom can enhance the learning outcomes of any course by showcasing course content as it exists in the world. In many ways, these learning experiences can answer questions like “how does this apply to me and others?” and “ what does this look like in real life?” As students engage with class concepts beyond the four walls of the classroom, they often experiment more confidently with applying different learning processes and as a result become active observers and researchers in their own right (Hole, 2018; Short et al., 2017).

While nuancing content is often a central component of getting students outside of the classroom, there are other benefits as well. For example, experiences that introduce students to the industries connected to their disciplines can motivate them to stick with their respective field and persist through difficult college coursework. This is especially true for engineering students who are getting acquainted with the subject for the first time (Nguyen et al., 2018).

There is also a relational aspect to outside learning experiences as it gives students and instructors an opportunity to interact in more informal and meaningful ways. From the bus ride there to the bus ride home, students and instructors can enhance their interpersonal and team-building skills. Taking the class out in variable environments fosters a learning model where everyone has to contribute and different student strengths rise to the surface and benefit the group in dynamic ways (Hole, 2018; Holton, 2017; Larsen et al., 2017).

On a broader level, learning experiences outside of the classroom can act as interdisciplinary sites of engagement where students are encouraged to use knowledge from different classes and integrate it into their analysis of what is going on around them. The experience outside of the classroom allows for students to think critically about, for example, resources and sustainability, power and privilege, and complex societal issues as they surface in real-world contexts and interactions. Because of this, immersive experiences can challenge stereotypes and assumptions that students might hold and encourage them to become more self-reflexive learners (Short et al., 2017; Rone, 2008; Das, 2015).

Field study is experiential, with the associated values and challenges that experiential learning carries with it (Kolb, 1984; Kolb & Kolb, 2005).  What many studies have shown is that field study has benefits in both the cognitive domain and the affective domain .  That is, that field study usually increases learning outcomes concerning the course material itself, as well as having a positive impact on the student’s perception of the learning experience (Boyle et al. 2007).

Students report these too, many with an appreciation, even an excitement, that was instilled by the experience in field study.  Although students want to know what is in-store for them prior to the field study, many also want to be surprised by a new vantage point that comes from the time out of the classroom and express a desire for instructors to maintain an “exploratory” air to the excursion.  In other words, they suggest that they be challenged for self-discovery, noting that some amount of unplanned time can go a long way toward achieving the learning goals of a field excursion.

View a recording of a panel discussion in Fall of 2020 with student perspectives of what field trips in their Lafayette College experience have meant to them, and what advice they have for instructors in creating field experiences in courses.

Boyle, A. et al. (2007) Fieldwork is Good:  The Student Perception and the Affective Domain . Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(2), 299-317.

Das, S. (2015). Using Museum Exhibits: An Innovation in Experiential Learning . College Teaching , 63(2), 72-82.

Eitel, D. (2020) The Merits of Adding Field Trips to College Courses . Journal for Research and Practice in College Teaching, 5(1), 86-108.

Gomez-Lanier, L. (2017) The Experiential Learning Impact of International and Domestic Study Tours:  Class Excursions That Are More Than Field Trips .  International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 29(1), 129-144.

Hole, T.N. (2018). Working and Learning in a Field Excursion . Cell Biology Education— Life Sciences Education, 17(2), 1-11.

Holton, M. (2017). ‘It Was Amazing to See Our Projects Come to Life!’ Developing Affective Learning During Geography Fieldwork through Tropophilia . Journal of Geography in Higher Education , 41(2), 198-212.

Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development . Englewood Cliffs: NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kolb, A., Kolb, D.  (2005) Learning Styles and Learning Spaces:  Enhancing Experiential Learning in Higher Education .   Academy of Management Learning and Education . 4, 193- 212.

Larsen, C., Walsh, C., Almond, N., Myers, C. (2017).  The ‘Real Value’ of Field Trips in the Early Weeks of Higher Education: The Student Perspective . Educational Studies , 43 (1), 110-121.

Lonergan, N., Andresen, L. (1988) Field Based Education:  Some Theoretical Considerations .  Higher Education Research and Development, 7, 63-77.

Nguyen, V.H., Nguyen, H.H. (2018). The Effectiveness of the Industrial Field Trip in Introduction to Engineering: A Case Study at Hung Yen University of Technology and Education, Vietnam . International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education , 55(3), 273-289.

Rone, T.R. (2008). Culture from the Outside in and the Inside Out: Experiential Education and the Continuum of Theory, Practice and Policy . College Teaching , 56 (4), 237-246.

Short, F., Lloyd, T. (2017). Taking the Student to the World: Teaching Sensitive Issues Using Field Trips . Psychology Teaching Review , 23(1), 49-55.

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Field Study 2 presents the importance of teaching-learning process wherein, both the teacher and the learners play a significant roles. Teachers have their own techniques and strategies on how they are going to impart and pass on the knowledge to their pupils. In this course, I realized fully the significance of planning the learning objectives of every lesson or topic to be discussed. Indeed, these learning objectives will be our guiding stars. As teachers, we must be able to set every lesson's objectives appropriate to the needs of the learners and that will lead them to a meaningful learning experiences. We, as teachers, should encourage our learners to fully develop their deeper understanding of the world where they live and help them to relate all the learnings they got to the real life experiences.

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Research Abstract This study was a quasi-experimental method of research which employed the pretest-posttest-control group design. This was aimed to determine the communication strategies used by Grade 11 students and correlated them with their performance in oral communication. These were the findings of the study: (1) before the intervention, the most frequent communication strategy used by the control group were the use of filters/hesitation devices and self-repetition whereas the experimental group resorted to use code-switching and literal translation, after the intervention, self-repetition was the most frequently used communication strategy of the control group while the use of filters/ hesitation devices and self-repetition were the top strategies used by the experimental group; (2)both the control group which was exposed to the Conventional Lecture Method and the experimental group which was exposed to the Target Communication Strategies had a Below Average performance in oral communication in the pretest, however, both groups’ performance were Above Average in the posttest; (3) there were significant mean-gains performance from the pretest to the posttest in oral communication of both control and experimental groups; (4) there was a significant difference in the mean-gains between the experimental and control group; (5)the control and experimental groups which were exposed to the Conventional Lecture Method and Target Communication Strategies exhibited positive attitudes towards English as a subject; and (6) attitudes of students towards English as a subject of both the control and experimental groups did not correlate with their performance in oral communication. In today’s society, it is important that people can express themselves, not only in writing but also in speaking. Speaking is a potent tool to communicate and enrich all areas of development. Oral communication skills are very important to determine competence of the learners. Based on the findings of the study, these were the conclusions arrived at: (1) if more communication strategies are used by students this could translate to higher performance in oral communication; and(2) the use of target communication strategies was a more effective vehicle in developing the optimum potentials of the students’ oral communication skills. These were the three major recommendations of the study: (1) that the proposed intervention be used by Grade 11 teachers to enhance the oral communication skills of the students; (2) that the students continue learning and using communication strategies for them to be more proficient with the English language; and (3) that DepEd integrate the use of communication strategies in the curriculum to help address learners’ communication breakdowns.

ken zeichner

Kevin F Menorias

JRMSU Dipolog Campus Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Title Page 1 Acknowledgement 2 Dedication 3 Approval Sheet 4 Certificate of Completion Certification From Critic Teacher Cooperating School Clearance Certification from the English Editor Table of Contents 5 Chapter I. INTRODUCTION Introduction 11 What is Practice Teaching? 12 Goals of Practice Teaching 14 Chapter 2. TOWARDS BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL TEACHER JRMSU VMGO 17 College of Education Goals and Objectives 18 Student Teacher’s Educational Philosophy/Credo 20 Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers 23 Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers 33 (with accompanying reflections for chosen 5 articles) Student-Teaching Expectations 36 Terms and Reference in Student Teaching 39 JRMSU Student Internship Supervisors 41 Pictorials and Documentations Chapter 3. OFF-CAMPUS STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCES A Brief Description of the Cooperating School a. History 42 b. VMGO and Policies 44 c. Organizational Structure 54 d. Programs and Activities 57 My Tasks Week 1 1. The Cooperating Schools Expectation 58 2. The facilities of the Cooperating School 59 3. Basic Information: a. Cooperating School 62 b. Cooperating Teacher 63 c. Orientation seminar 63 d. Orientation of Cooperating Principal 63 e. School Tour 64 4. Responsibilities as a Student Teacher 68 5. How did I feel when I saw my Cooperating School? What are my apprehensions? 70 6. The tools that I need to bring in my Cooperating School: 71 a. Knowledge b. Attitude c. Skills d. Habits 7. My Grade Level Assignment, Class Schedule and Official time 72 8. Reflection 73 a. Am I really prepared to teach? 9. Pictorials and Documentations 74 Week 2 1. My tasks and responsibilities as instructed by my Cooperating Teacher 75 2. My observation report in assisting my Cooperating Teacher 75 3. My own expectations 75 4. The characteristics of the learners I am handling 76 5. Synopsis about the developmental stages of the grade level I am handling 77 6. My first encounter with my Cooperating Teacher 77 7. My first dealing with my learners 78 8. Reflection a. I am really meant for the teaching profession because 78 9. Pictorials and Documentations 80 Week 3 1. My task and responsibilities as instructed by my Cooperating Teacher 81 2. The learning resources of the Cooperating School that I utilized 81 3. The DepEd officials/Personnel/Teaching Staff in my Cooperating School 82 4. The importance and utilization of the school’s facilities in the teaching - learning process 85 5. My perceptions of my Cooperating School as my second home 85 6. I can always make my second home: 86 a. Safe and secure by b. Friendly by c. Non-threatening by 7. Reflection: After analyzing the cooperating school’s Misson, Vision and Goals a. I realized that 88 b. So I need to Week 4 1. The daily classroom routine performed by my cooperating teacher 90 2. Synopsis on establishing classroom routines 91 3. My observation of the following: 91 a. Attendance b. Passing of papers or books c. Getting materials d. Making assignments 4. The routines that I have established to become a better classroom manager 92 5. The rules that I set in my class 94 6. Reflection 95 a. In my future class, I shall employ the following teaching skills and strategies... Chapter 4. WEEKLY NARRATIVE/SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCES Narrative reports (week 1- week 9) 97 Working with Pupils/Students 105 Working with the School Personnel 106 -the Critic Teacher -the Cooperating Principal -other School Staff Working with the Community and other School Stakeholders 108 Community Survey 108 Origin/History/Assets 108 Traditions/Customs/Practices 109 Actual Classroom Teaching 110 Special Demonstration Teaching 111 Final Demonstration Teaching 113 Pictorials and Documentations Chapter 5. PERSONAL ASSESSMENT/VIEWPOINT OF STUDENT-TEACHING Self assessment for being a Student Teacher 115 Personal point of view of Student Teaching Experiences 116 Pictorials and Documentations Chapter 6. MEMENTOS FOR BETTER TEACHING Lesson plans (Detailed, Semi – Detailed, Explicit) 117 (With accompanying reflection: Why did you choose this Lesson Plan as your sample in the portfolio?) 136 Chapter 7. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OR CAREER PLAN (At least 1 page) 138 APPENDICES Appendix A Lesson Plans (with Evaluation Sheets and Comments) a. Daily 139 b. Special Demonstration 151 c. Final Demonstration 158 Appendix B Summary Table of 40Actual Teachings, Ratings and General Average 166 Appendix C Comments about the Student Teacher from Critic Teacher and Students 168 Appendix D DepEd Forms (All kinds of forms uses in the DepEd, filled up properly and correctly) Appendix E Student’s output Appendix F Songs, games, and other re - creational materials 172 Photo Documentations 183 Appendix G Certificates (Merits, Recognition, Appreciation, Participation, etc.) Curriculum Vitae 196

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Sherilyn Amorganda

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Arnolfo Monleon

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Kristoffer Moreno

Romelyn Zipagan

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Institute of Technology, University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka)

Received February 2018

Accepted May 201 8

Learning is more concerned in engineering education as students need to do deep learning to understand the engineering principles for practice. Engineering is a practicing profession. Therefore, providing learning environment is required for the subjects of engineering disciplines to enable students to learn in depth. By knowing this phenomenon, field study was conducted as a group study for the civil engineering subject of building construction allowing students to learn and gain knowledge by observing construction activities in construction projects in addition to the lectures in usual classroom. At the end of the study, it is found that field study is useful for learning and students acquire knowledge and understand the application of theory at real situation. In addition, students develop skills for working as a team by organizing their works, sharing knowledge, discussing with relevant technical personnel at work site and achieving the targets within the given time frame. It is realized that teacher’s role is vital to make the study successful in the ways of organizing field study, conducting discussion classes to assist students, monitoring the progress and giving the feedback of the students’ performance during the course of field study producing excellent results while satisfying the objectives of both teacher and students.

Keywords – Learning, E ngineering education, F ield study, T eam work .

To cite this article:

1. I ntroduction

Engineering education requires the basic knowledge in mathematics and science which is usually obtained by following ordinary and advance level courses in school education. Students are able to select the suitable course by getting the required qualification from the school level education and acquire the engineering knowledge in desired engineering disciplines as appropriate engineering courses are available in higher education. Subjects in engineering education comprise of theories and practices which needs to be delivered in appropriate ways to enhance the knowledge, skill and attitude of the students to get the suitable employment in the field of engineering. Delivering methods are to be designed by the teachers suitably as the aim of learning engineering subjects is to apply the theory in real practice. Usual practice of delivering engineering subjects is through lectures, tutorials and laboratory experiments. Good learning environment is necessary for students to learn and understand the subjects well. Students learn in many ways, by seeing and hearing; reflecting and acting; reasoning logically and intuitively; memorizing and visualizing (Felder, 1988). The method of teaching is to be designed by understanding the learning styles of the students and the environment is to be arranged to encourage and motivate students for learning the engineering subjects. Field study was introduced as an assignment from 2014 for first year students in order to give good learning environment for students to gain more knowledge by observing building construction activities at construction project. Students had the opportunity to learn civil engineering principles relevant to the field of construction by observing the way it is used at real construction projects when they start their engineering education. Students enter engineering study without understanding the realities of either their degree program or engineering work, and without a sense of motivation and commitment (Bennett, Kapoor, Rajinder & Maynard, 2015). In addition, they had a chance to understand the application of modern technology in construction field other than they have learned the application in the classroom. After completing this course, these students will be employed in the construction field where different category of people work together to achieve their common target of completing the project in time with the given cost limit. Students were able to understand how they work as a team, discuss with technical staff at site and obtain useful information relevant to their subject.

1.1. Course Details

Building construction and draughtmanship is a module of civil engineering technology under National Diploma in Technology program conducted in Sri Lanka (Kandamby, 2017) where students are selected by considering General Certificate of Education Advanced Level science and mathematics stream examination. This module is in first year of three-year program and students are capable enough to understand the civil engineering principles applicable for studying technology of building construction. Total period of coverage of the module is two hours lectures and three hours drawing practical per week for 30 weeks. Main objectives of this subject are to give the knowledge of properties of building materials, selection of them for applying for constructions and the way of constructing building components by following the correct techniques while developing students’ skill for drawing the building components. At the end of the year, written examination is conducted for assessing the students’ performance which is three-hour paper with descriptive questions and drawings.

2. Research Objectives

Objectives of this study are to determine whether;

1. The discussion classes held during the process of field study is successful.

2. Significant knowledge is gained from field study.

3. The team building of students is improved by engaging field study.

4. Teacher-student relationship is improved by the total process under 1, 2, and 3 above.

3. Literature Review

3.1. Engineering Education

Engineering is between science and society and is concerned with systematic principles of science and mathematics in order to conclude scientific results for improving real life (Grismon, 2002). The Merriam‑Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines engineering as the application of science and mathematics by which the properties on matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people (Chanson & James, 1998). The existing teaching and learning strategies or culture in engineering programs is outdated and need to become more student-centered (Mills & Treagust, 2014). Teaching and learning has considerable attention over the past several years in higher education. Engineering is foremost a practical profession. It is a discipline where a combination of factors, including difficulty of the subject and mismatching of student and academic expectations exist (Wills, 2008). Engineering applications and normal engineering practice are often a combination of theory plus practical constraints. One of the skills of engineering educator is to be able to demonstrate the interface between engineering theory and practical limits (Chanson & James, 1998). Majority of engineering and science programs, across the world, are ‘delivered’ (itself a word which implies teaching rather than learning) by means of lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes (Goodhew, 2010). Most engineering courses other than laboratories emphasize concepts rather than facts and use primarily lectures and reading (words, symbols) to transmit information (Felder, 1988). Lecture is the most existing teaching method in engineering degree programs. It is a talk or verbal presentation given by a lecturer, trainer or speaker to an audience (Sajjad, 2006). Knowledge can be acquired by mechanism other than intentional learning (Nesbit & Mayer, 2010). Research and science were closely connected in the formation of technology and were the basis in engineering education (Graaff, 2016). Education is not fulfilled until the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom are applied (Paez & Rubio, 2015). Engineering education remains similar to that practiced in the 1950’s, chalk and talk with large classes and single-discipline, lecture-based delivery the norm, particularly in early years of study (Scott, 2014). Learning from practical cases is an essential factor in engineering education. Out of classroom learning experiences can engage students in the synthesis of science and technology and help develop their inquiry skills through active location-sensitive discourse with peer learners (Ryokai, Agogino & Oehlberg, 2012). Effective learning experiences are those support the development of deep understanding concepts and general principles, the development of skills, both technical and professional, and the application of knowledge and skills to problems (Litzinger, Lattuca, Hadgraft, & Newstetter, 2011). Teachers can support students to undergo effective learning process. It will help them to organize new information, link it to their existing knowledge and use memory aids to retrieve information (Eady & Lockyer, 2013; Kandamby, 2017).

3.2. Field S tudy for L earning

Research related to field studies in 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s focused on the learning potential of informal learning environments like museum, zoos, planetaria or outdoor settings (De W itt & Storksdieck, 2008). Many instructional disciplines and areas such as art, photography, forestry, biology, geology, geography, physics, physical education, ecology, astronomy, botany, history, agriculture, zoology, political science, environmental horticulture, English offer some types of field or practical experience (Wilson, 2011). Educationalists use work-based learning to denote how learning takes place not only a school classroom through teaching, but also in the workplace through observing, discussing and acting in different social worlds (Corradi, Verzelloni & Gherardi, 2010). Environmental educators are aware of the importance of brining real-world experiences to their teaching and students must integrate in-school environmental literacy with out-of-school natural world experiences (Wang & Carlson, 2011). Outdoor environment provides students with opportunities to be involved in tasks that resembles how scientists work, a requirement that is needed in almost every science syllabus (Esteves, Fernandes & Vasconcelos, 2015). Field-based approach is effective in helping students to achieve the knowledge required to fulfil the natural Science syllabus learning objectives, as well as to develop other competencies such as scientific reasoning and inquiry capacities (Esteves, F ernandes & Vascobcelos, 2015). Krepel and Diwall (1981), defined field trip as a trip arranged by the school and undertaken for educational purpose in which the students go to places where materials for instruction may be observed and studied directly in their functional setting. Nowadays field study forms part of the curriculum of courses from a broad spectrum of sciences including geology, biology, archaeology, history as well as from various social sciences, while it is often implemented in formal tuition as part of the practical exercise undertaken by the students (Vassala, 2006). The field programme provides an opportunity to apply previous knowledge, review real examples set in a worldly framework, and opportunity to be involved, physically with real situations in the field (Wilson, 2011). It also found that the field trip experiences enhanced students’ understanding of process of science, improved students’ attitude towards biology and significantly influenced their biology achievement (Patrick, 2010). Engineering is also based on science which requires out door learning environment as other disciplines. Almost every task undertaken in professional practice by an engineer will be in relation to a project which is more directed to the application of knowledge (Scott, 2014; Mills & Treagust, 2014). Students who participate in project-based learning are generally motivated, understanding the application of their knowledge in practice and they demonstrate better teamwork and communication skills (Mills & Treagust, 2014). Knowledge can be acquired by mechanism other than intentional learning (Nesbit & Mayer, 2010). The field trip should be placed early in the concrete part of the total learning activity and should be focused mainly on concrete interaction between the students and the environment ( Orion & Hofstein, 1994) . The material presented should be a blend of concrete information (facts, data, and observable phenomena) and abstract concepts (principles, theories, mathematical models) (Felder, 1988). Field trips create opportunities for students to acquire practical technical skills alongside individual and social experiences (Demirkaya & Atayeter, 2011). Field study is an additional learning activity which provide real learning environment for students to learn from observations at fields. Much of the learning makes use of observations, reflection on observations, experimentations with phenomena and the use of firsthand data and daily experiences (Bloom, 1984). Through the students’ discussions with engineers and technicians during the visit, there is an obvious indication that the students have gained a lot of knowledge as a result of the field trip (Paez, & Rubio, 2015). It demonstrates an increase in their motivation to learn as well as their desire to know more about the technology (Paez, & Rubio, 2015). The field study is an educational technique, which makes the educational process more active, helps the students to work in real situations and to develop skills, competencies and positive attitudes through activation of their existing ones (Vassala, 2006). Field studies are essential to illustrate real professional situations and the complex interactions between all engineering and non-engineering constraints (Chanson & James, 1998). On the field, the students, either in groups or independently, are assigned certain activities which can vary and their nature depends on their aims and objectives as well as the opportunities offered by each particular field. Activities on the field can include observation and comparison, mapping, sample taking, taking of photographs, etc. (Vassala, 2006). Based on final exam scores analyzed for the undergraduate students that attended the fieldtrip have performed better, when comparing to those that did not attend (Paez, & Rubio, 2015). From the study, it was found that all the groups of students showed positive attitudes and gained some knowledge after the field trip, achieved significantly higher scores on the knowledge test and gained more positive attitudes than the others ( Orion & Hofstein, 1994) . A s they work as a group, they share what they are experiencing with others (Wilson, 2011). If students have positive feelings on a field trip, such as joy, interests love and satisfaction, the field trip is more likely to achieve its predetermined learning goals (Wang & Carlson, 2011). Orion and Hoystein (1994) and Michie (1998) indicated that field trips providing first-hand experience, stimulating interest and motivation in science, giving meaning to learning and interrelationship and it supported for personal social d evelopment (Patrick, 2010). Cognitive and affective learning can occur as a result of class visits to out-of-school settings and learning outcomes are fundamentally influenced by the structure of the field trip, setting novelty, prior knowledge and interest of the students, the social context of the visit, teacher agendas, students experiences during field trip and the presence or absence and quality of preparation and follow up (De W itt & Storksdieck, 2008).

3.3. Assessment and F eedback

The general term assessment is to refer to all those activities undertaken by teacher and by their students in assessing themselves that provide information to be used as feedback to modify teaching and learning activities (William, 2011). Assessment was used primarily to describe processes of evaluating the effectiveness of sequences of instructional activities when the sequence was completed (William, 2011). Assessment for learning has disseminated four interventions: questioning, feedback through marking, peer- and self-assessment, and formative use of summative tests (Taras, 2010). Formative assessment is concerned with how judgments about the quality of student responses (performance, pieces or works) can be used to shape and improve the student’s competence by short-circuiting the randomness and inefficiency of trial-and-error leaning (Sadler, 1989). It is part of teaching methodology and has more to do with teachers than learners (Taras, 2010). Summative assessment tests are designed to judge the extent of students’ learning of the material for the purpose of grading, certification etc. (Taras, 2010). It contrasts with formative assessment in that it is concerned summing up or summarizing the achievement status of student and is geared towards reporting at the end of course of study especially for the purpose of certification (Sadler, 1989). Students need feedback on their understanding that allows them to grow as learners and sharpens their understanding of specific subject matter (Fink, Ambrose & Wheeler, 2005). Students want to receive critical, constructive feedback; they find it meaningful and useful for future learning (William, 2011). Feedback is a key element in formative assessment and is usually defined in term of information about something that has been or is being done successfully (Sadler, 1989). Feedback should not be so detailed and specific that it scaffolds the learning so completely that the students do not need to think for themselves (William, 2011). Feedback is seen as a primarily component in formative assessment and one of the factor that have the strongest influence on learning (Havnes, Smith, Dysthe, & Ludvigsen, 2012). The teacher – student relationship is one factor that may influence on how the students relate to feedback (Ruiz-Primo, 2011). Students use feedback to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of their performances and teachers use feedback to make programmatic decisions with respect to readiness, diagnosis and remediation (Sadler 1989). Understanding the principles of learning and how they impact teaching can help teachers to create new and more powerful form of learning (Fink, Ambrose & Wheeler, 2005). Today, student ratings of instruction are widely used for the purpose of making personnel decisions and faculty development recommendations (Scriven, 1995). Students are certainly qualified to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience. They have a right to express their opinions in any case, and no one else can report the extent to which the experience was useful, productive, informative, satisfying, or worthwhile. Students need feedback on their understanding that allows them to grow as learners and sharpens their understanding of specific subject matter (Fink, Ambrose & Wheeler, 2005). Staff needs feedback too. Teachers need to know what was difficult and what was easy, and ideally why common errors or misconceptions occurred. Teacher should regularly ask feedback questions (e.g. at the end of a test, as suggested above) and review the errors students make (Goodhew, 2010). After nearly seven decades of research on the use of student evaluations of teaching effectiveness, it can safely be stated that the majority of researchers believe that student ratings are a valid, reliable, and worthwhile means of evaluating teaching (Wachtel, 1998 ) . Teachers need to know what was difficult and what was easy, and ideally why common errors or misconceptions occurred. You should regularly ask feedback questions (e.g. at the end of a test, as suggested above) and review the errors students make (Goodhew, 2010).

4. Methodology

4.1. Implementation of F ield S tudy

Aim of field study was to provide a good learning place for students to observe and understand the application of building construction technology which they have learned from the lectures. Since the subject was new to the students and there were possibilities of finding good building work sites all over the areas, field study could be arranged suitably. It was carried out as a group study with maximum of eight students in a group whose home towns were nearby. Students were asked to select a building construction site in its initial construction stage located close to their home town. Learning process was designed covering the total contents of the proposed area of the module by referring the construction project. Written assignment was prepared accordingly and given during the first term to enable students to start site visit in time. They were asked to have two site visits within their first two vacations and complete the work during the third term (Course has three terms during the academic year). Tasks given in the assignment were clearly directed to students to learn by observing construction activities and record the necessary information. Permission was taken from the project managers of these work sites to carry out the study without disturbing to their work. Site engineers and engineering assistants were asked to help students by clarifying their problems and allowing them to inspect the work as stated in the assignment. Before commencing the first site visit, tasks given in the assignment were clearly explained to students by conducting a discussion class separately for each group under a tutor. On this occasion students had a chance to clarify their problems and get awareness of this study. Students were asked to maintain individual field book for recording the observations along with suitable sketches. Teacher assisted students to carry out the study without any difficulties by clarifying their problems or issues they faced during the study. A leader was appointed by the group members of each group to carry out the work as a team and complete their tasks during the given period. Students shared knowledge by discussing the work at site and in the classroom by obtaining assistance from the tutors in the discussion classes.

4.2. Evaluation of S tudents

Students were asked to submit their field books to the teacher after each site visit for getting feedback for his or her performance of learning. Feedback for the visits was indicated by giving clear statements and the marks out of 25. Using the given feedback in their field books students were able to understand the improvement required for the next site visit and an additional visit was allowed if necessary to cover the total content of the study. At the end of whole study, students were asked to discuss the information collected individually and prepare a group presentation (for batch 2014/2015) or a group report (for batch 2015/2016). Students were then assessed by the panel from the presentations individually and final marks were arrived by considering both presentation and the marks received for their field books. This evaluation procedure was changed in 2016 replacing presentation by a group report where individual student was asked to present a chapter of the report. Students were then evaluated by considering marks obtained both from report and the marks received for the field book.

5. Data Collection and A nalysis

A questionnaire was designed to collect the students’ feedback for this learning exercise under four areas of study from the batches of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 after the end examination. While collecting the comments, questions in the questionnaire were explained clearly in the classroom to enable students to understand and present the correct rating. Total numbers of students were 63 in 2014/2015 batch and 60 in 2015/2016. Students’ ratings collected from the questionnaire were considered and entered them in the excel sheet for the analysis. Two excel sheets were prepared for two batches separately under four headings of this research objectives enabling the summation of the scores of each questions.

5.1. Discussion C lasses

Table 1. Discussions held in classroom

Success of conducting discussion classes for the field study was analyzed under five questions stated in Table 1. Rating 4 and 5 represent as agree and strongly agree giving high positive response whereas rating 1,2 and 3 represent strongly disagree, disagree and neither agree nor disagree giving negative response.

Majority of the students have rated 4 and 5. Addition of each 4 and 5 ratings are almost equal except for the areas on given time frame for the discussion and assistance for preparing presentations. It was understood that teacher has made less attention on these two areas in 2016. Majority of the students (84% to 98% in 2015 and 73% to 97% in 2016) have understood that discussion classes are useful for better learning by getting clear objectives of the study, guidance for collecting information and recording them in the field books, support for preparation of presentations or reports. Since evaluation of students was done in the process of field study by giving marks by observing the entries in field books, students have felt that they obtained good support from the teacher to learn the subject while carrying out the field study.

5.2. Knowledge G ained

This area was analyzed under five areas as indicated in Table 2.

Table 2. Knowledge gained for subject area

Ratings under the studied areas of knowledge gained were in similar range for both years towards to high rating of 4 and 5. Majority of students (84% to 100% in 2015 and 88% to 93% in 2016) have expressed that time spent for the study was useful, study was interesting and acquired knowledge for the subject of building construction. Since there was no such specific questions related to the field study in the end examination paper, 65% to 75% of students have only rated the field study has supported for end written paper. But the students were able to answer the questions using the knowledge gained from the field study as all activities observed in the field visits were related to the building construction technology. When considering the total results presented in Table 2 for knowledge gained through the field study, it can be stated that students have learned the subject while spending time usefully with interest.

5.3. Building T eam W ork

Building team work among students is analyzed by considering four areas as shown in Table 3. Majority of the students (92% to 98% in 2015 and 83% to 90% in 2016) have participated the work as a team successfully by organizing site visits, achieving total contents of the study during the given period, preparing presentation or the report at the end of the work and maintaining good friendship among colleagues. When considering the total results on building team through field study, it can be stated that students have engaged the given task successfully and build good relationship among them.

Table 3. Building team work

5.4. Teacher S tudent I nteraction

Teacher and students’ interaction was analyzed through six areas. Majority of students (84% to 98% in 2015 and 83% to 92% in 2016) have stated that there were good interaction with teacher and students for organizing site visits, allowing students to ask questions during the discussion classes, appreciating students’ good ideas on this study and assisting for the completion of the total assignment work. Students in both years (73% in 2015 and 70% in 2016) have expressed that there was an improvement in relationship between teacher and the students due to this field study.

Table 4. Teacher-Students interaction

Figure 1. Teacher-Students interaction ( 2015 )

Figure 2. Teacher-Students interaction

The graphs plotted for teacher-students interaction on horizontal scale: 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree for six areas illustrate the similar shapes in both years. Peak values of all the areas studied are close to rating 4. It indicates that teacher-students relationship has developed due to the activities in the total process of the field study.

5.5. Roles of T eacher and S tudents

It is found that 84% of students in 2015 and 72% of students in 2016 have agreed that they have learned building construction by participating field study in building construction site. This Learning process is analyzed under the listed areas of knowledge gained, team building, discussion classes and students’ interaction which are now detailed under the roles of student and the teacher in order to find the necessity of improvements for future field studies in similar nature.

When considering the student’s roles, more than 60% of students in year 2015 have strongly agreed that they performed well for all the areas listed in Table 5. But students in year 2016 were not able to achieve the same (strongly agree) results though they agree all these areas when undergoing this learning process.

Table 5. Student’s roles

Table 6. Teacher’s roles

When considering the teacher’s roles, students have agreed the learning process under the areas listed in Table 6 (more than 73% in 2015 and more than 70% in 2016). Their responses for strongly agree are less than 48% for all areas listed. Therefore, it is found that teacher’s roles have not been covered to achieve very high results of this field study. Field study is a good learning process for students to acquire knowledge for which teacher should attend the roles by organizing the study, clarifying the objectives, monitoring the students’ performance, guiding for collecting information and making the presentation or the report after the field study and explaining the use of learning for attending end examination paper.

6. Conclusions

Literature review reveals that field studies have been practiced as an informal learning environment for most of the disciplines and now it is applied as a part of the curriculum of many courses. The research carried out for the field study under the discipline of civil engineering explains that field study is beneficial for the students to learn the subjects well by observing its application in the construction field. They acquire knowledge by learning construction activities and discussing with the technical staff at site. In addition, students are able to develop their skills to work as a team, collect information, record them, analyze and present as a form of a presentation or a report. For this total process, teacher’s continuous support is necessary by observing their performance and directing them to achieve expected outcomes. In the case of continuous field visits, giving feedback by the teacher is required to achieve better outcome from the students. It is realized that teacher’s role is very important to achieve high results from field study by overcoming the lagging areas identified as organizing the field study, monitoring the students’ performance, guiding for collecting information, guiding for making the presentation or the report after the field study and maintaining good relationship with the students throughout the process of field study. The same process of field study can be applied for many instructional disciplines and areas identified from the literature review such as art, photography, forestry, biology, geology, geography, physics, physical education, ecology, astronomy, botany, history, agriculture, zoology, political science and environmental horticulture.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

R eferences

Bennett, D., Kapoor, R., Rajinder, R., & Maynard, N. (2015). First year engineering students: Perceptions of engineers and engineering work amongst domestic and international students. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 6(1), 89-105. https://doi.org/10.5204/intjfyhe.v6i1.272

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what is field study in education essay

The Practices of the Field Study Courses among Teacher Education Institutions in the District 7 of Cavite: Basis for an Improved Performance along the Philippine Professional Standard for Teachers

  • Jayzelyn Yaras II


The field study is an integral part of the Pre-Service Program and is the basis for much of the upper level course work required by student teachers. The field study allows students to: gain experience in integrating the theoretical perspectives learned in the classroom with experiences gained in the field; achieve insights into the workings of an organization; become more conscious of the relationship of social roles, institutional dynamics, and larger cultural systems. When students return to campus, Field Study Seminar assists students in analyzing and interpreting their experiences, culminating in a major academic paper. The primary purpose of a conventional internship or practicum is for the student to perform a job and learn skills that will be useful in their future career. In contrast, the Field Study is an ethnographic research project.

The research used descriptive-comparative design which gave a comparison practicing of the field study courses among teacher education institutions in improving the performance along the Philippine Professional Standard for Teachers (PPST). The study used this particular method which the researcher considered two variables (not manipulated) and establishes a formal procedure and compared and concluded that one is better than the other if significant difference exists.

The majority of the respondents on this study came from the group of BSeD major in Math; group of with MA/MAEd Educational attainment; group with 1 to 5 years of teaching experience; with a present rank of Instructor 1; Female aged 31-40 years old and with teaches Field Study course number 1. The respondents in District 7 of Cavite moderately utilizing the practices of the field study courses in their respective Teacher Education Institution.


Here are the researcher’s recommendations based on the research findings: The TEIs in the Upland Municipalities of Cavite seriously consider the utilization of practices of the field study courses philosophy in order to produce quality and employable teachers based on Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers. Department of Education Cavite be created to devise plans and programs for the full implementation and utilization of the practices of the field study based on Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers among TEIs in District 7 of Cavite. A parallel study be conducted by future researchers in other District of Cavite with other respondents such as alumni, students, parents and the community to determine if similar results will be revealed.


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The natural world – Why field studies matter

natural world

Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph. D, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute discusses the critical importance of direct engagement with the natural world

Most major leaps in understanding the complex workings of the natural world have been discerned by naturalists, in the field, engaged in careful observation of plants, animals, and their interactions in natural settings. Experimental manipulations, laboratory-based inquiries, and theoretical models often yield exciting and important information. But frequently, such studies represent attempts to sharpen insights that came initially from the direct observation and description at the core of natural history – “the practice of intentional, focused attentiveness to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy.“

The unifying theory of modern biological science – evolution through natural selection – was famously developed independently by two astute field naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Only direct field study of real organisms in real landscapes offered a clear enough view of the phenomena of nature for this unifying theory to be revealed. As the renowned ecologist, Paul Dayton has noted: “There is simply no substitute for actually experiencing nature, to see, smell, and listen to the integrated pattern that nature offers an open mind.”

Today, in the grip of climate change and the sixth mass extinction, our need for understanding how nature works is more urgent than ever. But the startling fact is that fewer and fewer biologists have the opportunity to develop the skills of field biology and natural history. Over the past few decades, academic field studies have diminished on both sides of the Atlantic, as institutions and funding agencies have privileged theory over empirical field studies.

The American conservationist Aldo Leopold lamented the loss of field studies in biology education more than 70 years ago – and the situation has only grown more critical. Biologists with the skills to identify plants and animals have become the exception rather than the rule. How can we recognise human impacts on biodiversity if we can’t recognise the species that comprise it?

I’ve had the honour of directing a working group – representing a broad diversity of academic institutions and other NGOs – focused on the decline of field studies in biology education. This project was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and coordinated through the Natural History Institute.

The benefits of study

The value of field study is vast: field experiences not only contribute to better science, but also create better scientists, citizens, and people, thereby substantially affecting the human-nature relationships that form the basis for sustainability.

Observing nature is the touchstone for understanding how life works, and thus field studies serve quite literally as the grounding for the biological sciences. At the same time, field experiences often force observers to question and to re-evaluate their assumptions about how the natural world operates.

Accordingly, field observations can lead to re-calibration of research strategies for exploring biological phenomena, explanations for which are often subsequently tested using information collected by observational approaches in the field. Field observations reveal patterns, and these often lead to the development of formal hypotheses. Theoretical models are only as solid as the field natural history foundations on which they rest.

Field-based education is particularly critical to the biological sciences, providing fundamental training for key disciplines such as behaviour, ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation science. Field studies underlie the conceptual and technical bases for these disciplines and are required to ensure their healthy growth.

Now, as society struggles to respond appropriately to losses of biodiversity, range shifts due to climate change, and emergence of new human pathogens, the decline in opportunities for field study means that subsequent generations of biologists will be increasingly divorced from the primary setting – the natural environment – in which the phenomena that they study occur.

As the capacity to modify biological systems expands – from genomes to ecosystems to global cycles – it is imperative that scientists and the broader public can critically evaluate the outcomes of these changes in the context of complex natural settings. Within academia, this need also applies to the educators charged with training future generations of problem solvers. Field studies are an essential component of every scientist’s training.

Field education also promotes the development of place-based understanding. Students who engage in field experiences have greater opportunity to cultivate the critical connections to real places that transform abstract concepts into tangible realities. This outcome extends to the cultural, social, and political settings in which field studies occur. A sense of place can be a powerful motivator for learning and stewardship and thus individuals who become strongly connected to a specific setting, tend to become more effective advocates for all elements of that environment.

On an individual level, field studies often spark a “sense of wonder” that can launch students on a path of discovery-based science, resulting in a life-long commitment to careers in natural, environmental, and medical science. Field experiences – in particular, residential and other immersive experiences – also provide unparalleled opportunities for development of intra- and inter-personal skills that are critical to effective leadership. There is also empirical evidence that field courses contribute to improved academic performance and cognitive learning in undergraduate biology students.

Challenges to study

Higher education has changed dramatically since Aldo Leopold wrote about the importance of field studies in the 1930s. Institutional challenges to field studies include decreasing financial resources and increasing regulatory concerns. Institutions, presuming high costs, fearing legal liability issues, too often construct administrative obstacles to faculty offering field experiences for students.

Accommodating study

Collectively, these factors contribute to a significant decline in field study opportunities for students and lack of pedagogical guidance for instructors interested in conducting field courses. At many institutions, instructors interested in providing field experiences must negotiate a complex suite of financial, logistical, legal, and attitudinal hurdles.

Sometimes, something as simple as the lack of a vehicle for transporting students is what denies them field study opportunities. Over time, these hurdles may sap the energy and morale of even the most dedicated instructors, thereby reinforcing the cycle of decline for courses that include a field component.

More than ever, the world needs the passion, insight, and wisdom that come from field studies. Academic institutions must recognise that field experiences are more crucial, not less, in the 21st century, and work to encourage, rather than obstruct field education. Funding agencies have an important role to play in supporting this critical foundation of learning how nature works.

Please note: this is a commercial profile

Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph. D

Executive Director

Natural History Institute

126 N. Marina St.

Prescott, Arizona 86301 USA

(Faculty Emeritus, Prescott College)

[email protected]


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The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2021

From reframing our notion of “good” schools to mining the magic of expert teachers, here’s a curated list of must-read research from 2021.

It was a year of unprecedented hardship for teachers and school leaders. We pored through hundreds of studies to see if we could follow the trail of exactly what happened: The research revealed a complex portrait of a grueling year during which persistent issues of burnout and mental and physical health impacted millions of educators. Meanwhile, many of the old debates continued: Does paper beat digital? Is project-based learning as effective as direct instruction? How do you define what a “good” school is?

Other studies grabbed our attention, and in a few cases, made headlines. Researchers from the University of Chicago and Columbia University turned artificial intelligence loose on some 1,130 award-winning children’s books in search of invisible patterns of bias. (Spoiler alert: They found some.) Another study revealed why many parents are reluctant to support social and emotional learning in schools—and provided hints about how educators can flip the script.

1. What Parents Fear About SEL (and How to Change Their Minds)

When researchers at the Fordham Institute asked parents to rank phrases associated with social and emotional learning , nothing seemed to add up. The term “social-emotional learning” was very unpopular; parents wanted to steer their kids clear of it. But when the researchers added a simple clause, forming a new phrase—”social-emotional & academic learning”—the program shot all the way up to No. 2 in the rankings.

What gives?

Parents were picking up subtle cues in the list of SEL-related terms that irked or worried them, the researchers suggest. Phrases like “soft skills” and “growth mindset” felt “nebulous” and devoid of academic content. For some, the language felt suspiciously like “code for liberal indoctrination.”

But the study suggests that parents might need the simplest of reassurances to break through the political noise. Removing the jargon, focusing on productive phrases like “life skills,” and relentlessly connecting SEL to academic progress puts parents at ease—and seems to save social and emotional learning in the process.

2. The Secret Management Techniques of Expert Teachers

In the hands of experienced teachers, classroom management can seem almost invisible: Subtle techniques are quietly at work behind the scenes, with students falling into orderly routines and engaging in rigorous academic tasks almost as if by magic. 

That’s no accident, according to new research . While outbursts are inevitable in school settings, expert teachers seed their classrooms with proactive, relationship-building strategies that often prevent misbehavior before it erupts. They also approach discipline more holistically than their less-experienced counterparts, consistently reframing misbehavior in the broader context of how lessons can be more engaging, or how clearly they communicate expectations.

Focusing on the underlying dynamics of classroom behavior—and not on surface-level disruptions—means that expert teachers often look the other way at all the right times, too. Rather than rise to the bait of a minor breach in etiquette, a common mistake of new teachers, they tend to play the long game, asking questions about the origins of misbehavior, deftly navigating the terrain between discipline and student autonomy, and opting to confront misconduct privately when possible.

3. The Surprising Power of Pretesting

Asking students to take a practice test before they’ve even encountered the material may seem like a waste of time—after all, they’d just be guessing.

But new research concludes that the approach, called pretesting, is actually more effective than other typical study strategies. Surprisingly, pretesting even beat out taking practice tests after learning the material, a proven strategy endorsed by cognitive scientists and educators alike. In the study, students who took a practice test before learning the material outperformed their peers who studied more traditionally by 49 percent on a follow-up test, while outperforming students who took practice tests after studying the material by 27 percent.

The researchers hypothesize that the “generation of errors” was a key to the strategy’s success, spurring student curiosity and priming them to “search for the correct answers” when they finally explored the new material—and adding grist to a 2018 study that found that making educated guesses helped students connect background knowledge to new material.

Learning is more durable when students do the hard work of correcting misconceptions, the research suggests, reminding us yet again that being wrong is an important milestone on the road to being right.

4. Confronting an Old Myth About Immigrant Students

Immigrant students are sometimes portrayed as a costly expense to the education system, but new research is systematically dismantling that myth.

In a 2021 study , researchers analyzed over 1.3 million academic and birth records for students in Florida communities, and concluded that the presence of immigrant students actually has “a positive effect on the academic achievement of U.S.-born students,” raising test scores as the size of the immigrant school population increases. The benefits were especially powerful for low-income students.

While immigrants initially “face challenges in assimilation that may require additional school resources,” the researchers concluded, hard work and resilience may allow them to excel and thus “positively affect exposed U.S.-born students’ attitudes and behavior.” But according to teacher Larry Ferlazzo, the improvements might stem from the fact that having English language learners in classes improves pedagogy , pushing teachers to consider “issues like prior knowledge, scaffolding, and maximizing accessibility.”

5. A Fuller Picture of What a ‘Good’ School Is

It’s time to rethink our definition of what a “good school” is, researchers assert in a study published in late 2020.⁣ That’s because typical measures of school quality like test scores often provide an incomplete and misleading picture, the researchers found.

The study looked at over 150,000 ninth-grade students who attended Chicago public schools and concluded that emphasizing the social and emotional dimensions of learning—relationship-building, a sense of belonging, and resilience, for example—improves high school graduation and college matriculation rates for both high- and low-income students, beating out schools that focus primarily on improving test scores.⁣

“Schools that promote socio-emotional development actually have a really big positive impact on kids,” said lead researcher C. Kirabo Jackson in an interview with Edutopia . “And these impacts are particularly large for vulnerable student populations who don’t tend to do very well in the education system.”

The findings reinforce the importance of a holistic approach to measuring student progress, and are a reminder that schools—and teachers—can influence students in ways that are difficult to measure, and may only materialize well into the future.⁣

6. Teaching Is Learning

One of the best ways to learn a concept is to teach it to someone else. But do you actually have to step into the shoes of a teacher, or does the mere expectation of teaching do the trick?

In a 2021 study , researchers split students into two groups and gave them each a science passage about the Doppler effect—a phenomenon associated with sound and light waves that explains the gradual change in tone and pitch as a car races off into the distance, for example. One group studied the text as preparation for a test; the other was told that they’d be teaching the material to another student.

The researchers never carried out the second half of the activity—students read the passages but never taught the lesson. All of the participants were then tested on their factual recall of the Doppler effect, and their ability to draw deeper conclusions from the reading.

The upshot? Students who prepared to teach outperformed their counterparts in both duration and depth of learning, scoring 9 percent higher on factual recall a week after the lessons concluded, and 24 percent higher on their ability to make inferences. The research suggests that asking students to prepare to teach something—or encouraging them to think “could I teach this to someone else?”—can significantly alter their learning trajectories.

7. A Disturbing Strain of Bias in Kids’ Books

Some of the most popular and well-regarded children’s books—Caldecott and Newbery honorees among them—persistently depict Black, Asian, and Hispanic characters with lighter skin, according to new research .

Using artificial intelligence, researchers combed through 1,130 children’s books written in the last century, comparing two sets of diverse children’s books—one a collection of popular books that garnered major literary awards, the other favored by identity-based awards. The software analyzed data on skin tone, race, age, and gender.

Among the findings: While more characters with darker skin color begin to appear over time, the most popular books—those most frequently checked out of libraries and lining classroom bookshelves—continue to depict people of color in lighter skin tones. More insidiously, when adult characters are “moral or upstanding,” their skin color tends to appear lighter, the study’s lead author, Anjali Aduki,  told The 74 , with some books converting “Martin Luther King Jr.’s chocolate complexion to a light brown or beige.” Female characters, meanwhile, are often seen but not heard.

Cultural representations are a reflection of our values, the researchers conclude: “Inequality in representation, therefore, constitutes an explicit statement of inequality of value.”

8. The Never-Ending ‘Paper Versus Digital’ War

The argument goes like this: Digital screens turn reading into a cold and impersonal task; they’re good for information foraging, and not much more. “Real” books, meanwhile, have a heft and “tactility”  that make them intimate, enchanting—and irreplaceable.

But researchers have often found weak or equivocal evidence for the superiority of reading on paper. While a recent study concluded that paper books yielded better comprehension than e-books when many of the digital tools had been removed, the effect sizes were small. A 2021 meta-analysis further muddies the water: When digital and paper books are “mostly similar,” kids comprehend the print version more readily—but when enhancements like motion and sound “target the story content,” e-books generally have the edge.

Nostalgia is a force that every new technology must eventually confront. There’s plenty of evidence that writing with pen and paper encodes learning more deeply than typing. But new digital book formats come preloaded with powerful tools that allow readers to annotate, look up words, answer embedded questions, and share their thinking with other readers.

We may not be ready to admit it, but these are precisely the kinds of activities that drive deeper engagement, enhance comprehension, and leave us with a lasting memory of what we’ve read. The future of e-reading, despite the naysayers, remains promising.

9. New Research Makes a Powerful Case for PBL

Many classrooms today still look like they did 100 years ago, when students were preparing for factory jobs. But the world’s moved on: Modern careers demand a more sophisticated set of skills—collaboration, advanced problem-solving, and creativity, for example—and those can be difficult to teach in classrooms that rarely give students the time and space to develop those competencies.

Project-based learning (PBL) would seem like an ideal solution. But critics say PBL places too much responsibility on novice learners, ignoring the evidence about the effectiveness of direct instruction and ultimately undermining subject fluency. Advocates counter that student-centered learning and direct instruction can and should coexist in classrooms.

Now two new large-scale studies —encompassing over 6,000 students in 114 diverse schools across the nation—provide evidence that a well-structured, project-based approach boosts learning for a wide range of students.

In the studies, which were funded by Lucas Education Research, a sister division of Edutopia , elementary and high school students engaged in challenging projects that had them designing water systems for local farms, or creating toys using simple household objects to learn about gravity, friction, and force. Subsequent testing revealed notable learning gains—well above those experienced by students in traditional classrooms—and those gains seemed to raise all boats, persisting across socioeconomic class, race, and reading levels.

10. Tracking a Tumultuous Year for Teachers

The Covid-19 pandemic cast a long shadow over the lives of educators in 2021, according to a year’s worth of research.

The average teacher’s workload suddenly “spiked last spring,” wrote the Center for Reinventing Public Education in its January 2021 report, and then—in defiance of the laws of motion—simply never let up. By the fall, a RAND study recorded an astonishing shift in work habits: 24 percent of teachers reported that they were working 56 hours or more per week, compared to 5 percent pre-pandemic.

The vaccine was the promised land, but when it arrived nothing seemed to change. In an April 2021 survey  conducted four months after the first vaccine was administered in New York City, 92 percent of teachers said their jobs were more stressful than prior to the pandemic, up from 81 percent in an earlier survey.

It wasn’t just the length of the work days; a close look at the research reveals that the school system’s failure to adjust expectations was ruinous. It seemed to start with the obligations of hybrid teaching, which surfaced in Edutopia ’s coverage of overseas school reopenings. In June 2020, well before many U.S. schools reopened, we reported that hybrid teaching was an emerging problem internationally, and warned that if the “model is to work well for any period of time,” schools must “recognize and seek to reduce the workload for teachers.” Almost eight months later, a 2021 RAND study identified hybrid teaching as a primary source of teacher stress in the U.S., easily outpacing factors like the health of a high-risk loved one.

New and ever-increasing demands for tech solutions put teachers on a knife’s edge. In several important 2021 studies, researchers concluded that teachers were being pushed to adopt new technology without the “resources and equipment necessary for its correct didactic use.” Consequently, they were spending more than 20 hours a week adapting lessons for online use, and experiencing an unprecedented erosion of the boundaries between their work and home lives, leading to an unsustainable “always on” mentality. When it seemed like nothing more could be piled on—when all of the lights were blinking red—the federal government restarted standardized testing .

Change will be hard; many of the pathologies that exist in the system now predate the pandemic. But creating strict school policies that separate work from rest, eliminating the adoption of new tech tools without proper supports, distributing surveys regularly to gauge teacher well-being, and above all listening to educators to identify and confront emerging problems might be a good place to start, if the research can be believed.

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Reasons For Interests In Selected Program Of Study: A Sample Admission Essay For Inspiration & Mimicking

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Psychology is the scientific study of how the mind works and how people chose to act.

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Good example of essay on quality education, healthcare profession essays example.

1) Nursing calls for individual endurance, attention and commitment towards the career. The requirements for nursing do not only call for a career choice, but also a personal attitude towards the profession with the aim of aiding the sick. This calls for our attention towards those in need of help around us, far and way beyond. Following the nature of the job and having been in the healthcare system for over 12 years, I believe this will be the best profession for me to venture in, both as a professional path and an educational path for exploration.

Greek Philosophy and Art Course Work Examples

1. The word “philosophy” means in Greek “the love/pursuit of wisdom” – considering the first Greek philosophers (the Pre-Socratics), what propelled them to pursue a new kind of “wisdom”? What were they unsatisfied with?

The pre-Socratic philosophers were referred to as physiologoi, meaning physical or natural philosophers. They sought to provide natural and rational justifications for various occurrences. The “essence of things” propelled them to pursue new king of wisdom by posing questions such as; where does everything come from? Can nature be explained mathematically? From what does everything emanate? As such, their concerns were ontology, mathematics, and cosmology. They were unsatisfied with the mythological explanations to the occurrences that were being experienced during their time and sought to provide reasoned explanations to natural occurrences.

2. How are the concepts of Lack (Poverty) and Resourcefulness (Resource) pertinent to Philosophy (and Love, according to Plato)? What does the philosopher lack, what resources does he/she have that enables him/her to attain what is lacking?

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The scientific study of behaviors and mental functions is something that I am interested in so much. My personal goal as an upcoming psychologist is essentially to have a good understanding of individuals and groups through both researching specific cases and establishing general principles. For that reason, the first topic that is, Introduction to Psychology is a very motivating topic to me.

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Caring for the patient with chronic respiratory disease

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Economics is a field of study that deals with analyzing the factors involved in the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Economics strives to explain how economies of different countries function and the interaction between different agents operating in those economies. Economics as a field of study finds application in different spheres of the society including businesses, governments, health, education, politics and other social institutions. There are two major categories in this field and they include microeconomics and macro economics.

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Origins of sociological inquiry: Industrial revolution and emergence of the scientific approach

Introduction The field of sociology came into its own when scientific methods started getting systematically employed by social philosophers in nineteenth century Europe. This paper discusses the impact of industrial revolution on the development of social sciences as a discipline, the assumptions that underlie scientific methods employed by sociologists, and whether the inherent nature of social science research lends itself to objectivity. It also highlights the implications and consequences of social science research.

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It is the goal of each individual to prosper in both academic and in life skills. Having attained my first degree, I feel that I still have the chance to further my academics in order to successfully achieve my academic goals. The field of criminology and justice has been feared by many individuals due to the amount of commitment and dedication that is required of an individual. This field of study requires that law enforcement officers first understand the guidelines stipulated within the country’s law in order to be in a position of maintaining law and order.

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Computer Science > Human-Computer Interaction

Title: evaluating the effectiveness of llms in introductory computer science education: a semester-long field study.

Abstract: The integration of AI assistants, especially through the development of Large Language Models (LLMs), into computer science education has sparked significant debate. An emerging body of work has looked into using LLMs in education, but few have examined the impacts of LLMs on students in entry-level programming courses, particularly in real-world contexts and over extended periods. To address this research gap, we conducted a semester-long, between-subjects study with 50 students using CodeTutor, an LLM-powered assistant developed by our research team. Our study results show that students who used CodeTutor (the experimental group) achieved statistically significant improvements in their final scores compared to peers who did not use the tool (the control group). Within the experimental group, those without prior experience with LLM-powered tools demonstrated significantly greater performance gain than their counterparts. We also found that students expressed positive feedback regarding CodeTutor's capability, though they also had concerns about CodeTutor's limited role in developing critical thinking skills. Over the semester, students' agreement with CodeTutor's suggestions decreased, with a growing preference for support from traditional human teaching assistants. Our analysis further reveals that the quality of user prompts was significantly correlated with CodeTutor's response effectiveness. Building upon our results, we discuss the implications of our findings for integrating Generative AI literacy into curricula to foster critical thinking skills and turn to examining the temporal dynamics of user engagement with LLM-powered tools. We further discuss the discrepancy between the anticipated functions of tools and students' actual capabilities, which sheds light on the need for tailored strategies to improve educational outcomes.

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AI Index Report

Welcome to the seventh edition of the AI Index report. The 2024 Index is our most comprehensive to date and arrives at an important moment when AI’s influence on society has never been more pronounced. This year, we have broadened our scope to more extensively cover essential trends such as technical advancements in AI, public perceptions of the technology, and the geopolitical dynamics surrounding its development. Featuring more original data than ever before, this edition introduces new estimates on AI training costs, detailed analyses of the responsible AI landscape, and an entirely new chapter dedicated to AI’s impact on science and medicine.

Read the 2024 AI Index Report

The AI Index report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence (AI). Our mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, broadly sourced data in order for policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public to develop a more thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex field of AI.

The AI Index is recognized globally as one of the most credible and authoritative sources for data and insights on artificial intelligence. Previous editions have been cited in major newspapers, including the The New York Times, Bloomberg, and The Guardian, have amassed hundreds of academic citations, and been referenced by high-level policymakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, among other places. This year’s edition surpasses all previous ones in size, scale, and scope, reflecting the growing significance that AI is coming to hold in all of our lives.

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Erik Brynjolfsson

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John Etchemendy

John Etchemendy

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Terah Lyons

Terah Lyons

James Manyika

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Juan Carlos Niebles

Vanessa Parli

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A decade ago, the best AI systems in the world were unable to classify objects in images at a human level. AI struggled with language comprehension and could not solve math problems. Today, AI systems routinely exceed human performance on standard benchmarks.

Progress accelerated in 2023. New state-of-the-art systems like GPT-4, Gemini, and Claude 3 are impressively multimodal: They can generate fluent text in dozens of languages, process audio, and even explain memes. As AI has improved, it has increasingly forced its way into our lives. Companies are racing to build AI-based products, and AI is increasingly being used by the general public. But current AI technology still has significant problems. It cannot reliably deal with facts, perform complex reasoning, or explain its conclusions.

AI faces two interrelated futures. First, technology continues to improve and is increasingly used, having major consequences for productivity and employment. It can be put to both good and bad uses. In the second future, the adoption of AI is constrained by the limitations of the technology. Regardless of which future unfolds, governments are increasingly concerned. They are stepping in to encourage the upside, such as funding university R&D and incentivizing private investment. Governments are also aiming to manage the potential downsides, such as impacts on employment, privacy concerns, misinformation, and intellectual property rights.

As AI rapidly evolves, the AI Index aims to help the AI community, policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public navigate this complex landscape. It provides ongoing, objective snapshots tracking several key areas: technical progress in AI capabilities, the community and investments driving AI development and deployment, public opinion on current and potential future impacts, and policy measures taken to stimulate AI innovation while managing its risks and challenges. By comprehensively monitoring the AI ecosystem, the Index serves as an important resource for understanding this transformative technological force.

On the technical front, this year’s AI Index reports that the number of new large language models released worldwide in 2023 doubled over the previous year. Two-thirds were open-source, but the highest-performing models came from industry players with closed systems. Gemini Ultra became the first LLM to reach human-level performance on the Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU) benchmark; performance on the benchmark has improved by 15 percentage points since last year. Additionally, GPT-4 achieved an impressive 0.97 mean win rate score on the comprehensive Holistic Evaluation of Language Models (HELM) benchmark, which includes MMLU among other evaluations.

Although global private investment in AI decreased for the second consecutive year, investment in generative AI skyrocketed. More Fortune 500 earnings calls mentioned AI than ever before, and new studies show that AI tangibly boosts worker productivity. On the policymaking front, global mentions of AI in legislative proceedings have never been higher. U.S. regulators passed more AI-related regulations in 2023 than ever before. Still, many expressed concerns about AI’s ability to generate deepfakes and impact elections. The public became more aware of AI, and studies suggest that they responded with nervousness.

Ray Perrault Co-director, AI Index

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About 1 in 5 U.S. teens who’ve heard of ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork

(Maskot/Getty Images)

Roughly one-in-five teenagers who have heard of ChatGPT say they have used it to help them do their schoolwork, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. With a majority of teens having heard of ChatGPT, that amounts to 13% of all U.S. teens who have used the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in their schoolwork.

A bar chart showing that, among teens who know of ChatGPT, 19% say they’ve used it for schoolwork.

Teens in higher grade levels are particularly likely to have used the chatbot to help them with schoolwork. About one-quarter of 11th and 12th graders who have heard of ChatGPT say they have done this. This share drops to 17% among 9th and 10th graders and 12% among 7th and 8th graders.

There is no significant difference between teen boys and girls who have used ChatGPT in this way.

The introduction of ChatGPT last year has led to much discussion about its role in schools , especially whether schools should integrate the new technology into the classroom or ban it .

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand American teens’ use and understanding of ChatGPT in the school setting.

The Center conducted an online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23, 2023, via Ipsos. Ipsos recruited the teens via their parents, who were part of its KnowledgePanel . The KnowledgePanel is a probability-based web panel recruited primarily through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey was weighted to be representative of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 who live with their parents by age, gender, race and ethnicity, household income, and other categories.

This research was reviewed and approved by an external institutional review board (IRB), Advarra, an independent committee of experts specializing in helping to protect the rights of research participants.

Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

Teens’ awareness of ChatGPT

Overall, two-thirds of U.S. teens say they have heard of ChatGPT, including 23% who have heard a lot about it. But awareness varies by race and ethnicity, as well as by household income:

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that most teens have heard of ChatGPT, but awareness varies by race and ethnicity, household income.

  • 72% of White teens say they’ve heard at least a little about ChatGPT, compared with 63% of Hispanic teens and 56% of Black teens.
  • 75% of teens living in households that make $75,000 or more annually have heard of ChatGPT. Much smaller shares in households with incomes between $30,000 and $74,999 (58%) and less than $30,000 (41%) say the same.

Teens who are more aware of ChatGPT are more likely to use it for schoolwork. Roughly a third of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT (36%) have used it for schoolwork, far higher than the 10% among those who have heard a little about it.

When do teens think it’s OK for students to use ChatGPT?

For teens, whether it is – or is not – acceptable for students to use ChatGPT depends on what it is being used for.

There is a fair amount of support for using the chatbot to explore a topic. Roughly seven-in-ten teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use when they are researching something new, while 13% say it is not acceptable.

A diverging bar chart showing that many teens say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for research; few say it’s OK to use it for writing essays.

However, there is much less support for using ChatGPT to do the work itself. Just one-in-five teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to write essays, while 57% say it is not acceptable. And 39% say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT to solve math problems, while a similar share of teens (36%) say it’s not acceptable.

Some teens are uncertain about whether it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for these tasks. Between 18% and 24% say they aren’t sure whether these are acceptable use cases for ChatGPT.

Those who have heard a lot about ChatGPT are more likely than those who have only heard a little about it to say it’s acceptable to use the chatbot to research topics, solve math problems and write essays. For instance, 54% of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to solve math problems, compared with 32% among those who have heard a little about it.

Note: Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

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Many Americans think generative AI programs should credit the sources they rely on

Americans’ use of chatgpt is ticking up, but few trust its election information, q&a: how we used large language models to identify guests on popular podcasts, striking findings from 2023, what the data says about americans’ views of artificial intelligence, most popular.

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what is field study in education essay

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Essay on Fire Safety in 200 and 500+ words in English for Students 

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  • Apr 19, 2024

Essay On Fire Safety

Fire is a powerful force that, when uncontrolled, can cause huge destruction to lives as well as to property. However, with fire awareness and preventive measures, many fire-related accidents can be avoided. In this essay on fire safety, we will gather information related to fire, its scientific behavior, and, most importantly, fire management and prevention.  

what is field study in education essay

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay on Fire Safety 200 Words 
  • 2 Essay on Fire Safety in 500+ Words
  • 3 The Science of Fire
  • 4 The Behavior and Spread of Fire
  • 5.1 1. Fire-Resistant Building Materials
  • 5.2 2. Fire Detection and Alarm System
  • 5.3 3. Clear Emergency Egress Routes: 
  • 5.4 4. Effective Fire Suppression Systems: 
  • 5.5 5. Comprehensive Fire Safety Plans and Training
  • 6 Fire Prevention and Safety Act of 2005
  • 7 Conclusion

Essay on Fire Safety 200 Words 

Also Read: Essay on Deforestation: 100 Words, 300 Words

Essay on Fire Safety in 500+ Words

Fire protection is all about keeping ourselves and our loved ones secure from the dangers of fire. Fire can happen everywhere, whether at home, in the classroom, or even outside the home. To keep ourselves and others secure, it is important to know how to stay safe from the chemical technique of combustion. 

Understanding the fundamentals of safety, like a way to spot the danger of fire and how to use it in emergencies, can save lives and protect property as well. Also, keeping watch on the guidelines of the government will further assist us in becoming fire-safety protection heroes. 

The Science of Fire

Fire is a chemical reaction that involves fuel, heat, and oxygen. Combining the three elements results as releasing of heat, light, and various reaction products. Further, fire requires a continuous supply of all three components to keep burning. Removing any one of them helps extinguish the fire.

The Behavior and Spread of Fire

Fire spreads rapidly by transferring heat to nearby combustible materials through conduction, convection, and radiation. The speed and direction also play an important role in the spread of fire, depending on other factors such as the type of fuel, the wind, and the layout of the building. Understanding the behavior of the fire helps in taking precautionary measures to fight against it.

Also Read: Essay on Disaster Management

Fire Management and Prevention

Apart from self-awareness, fire management and prevention also help in staying safe from hazardous chemical reactions. Let us delve into the important management measures and anticipate fire.

1. Fire-Resistant Building Materials

Using fire-resistant materials in construction, such as concrete, steel, and treated wood, can help slow the spread of fire. These materials have a higher combustion point and are less likely to catch a strong fire. 

2. Fire Detection and Alarm System

Early detection is important for fire detection. Fire safety devices such as smoke detectors and fire alarms help in the detection of fire instantly. These precautionary indicators should go through regular testing and maintenance to ensure the proper functioning of the safety measure device. 

3. Clear Emergency Egress Routes: 

Buildings must have marked and unobstructed exit routes to enable fast exits during emergencies. Exit signs, emergency lighting such as emergency escape lighting, standby lighting, and fire evacuation plans assistance help in locating and using these routes efficiently.

4. Effective Fire Suppression Systems: 

Automatic sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and standpipe systems play an important role in suppressing fire units until one gets professional help. Regular inspections and maintenance ensure these system’s operations work smoothly.

5. Comprehensive Fire Safety Plans and Training

Developing and implementing fire safety plans, conducting regular fire drills, and providing fire safety training to get safe from the fire are essential. These measures promote awareness, preparedness, and appropriate responses during emergencies. 

Fire Prevention and Safety Act of 2005

Apart from fire management and prevention, the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act of 2005 is a vital law that ensures the protection of all of us. It works alongside other regulations like the Environment Protection Act 1986 and the Explosive Act and Rules to ensure that our surroundings are secure from the danger of fire. This act is constantly updated to stay powerful and deal with new challenges. By following these laws and policies, we will create a safer environment, reduce the threat of fire, and protect lives and property.

Safety from fire is the core responsibility of all of us. Understanding the science of fire and implementing proactive measures such as installing prevention systems, educating ourselves, and other safety practices helps the destruction caused by fire accidents. It should be remembered that a little prevention today can prevent a big disaster of tomorrow.

Also Read: Essay On Covid-19: 100, 200 and 300 Words

Ans: The importance of fire safety cannot be exaggerated. Fire can cause immense damage to property, injuries, and even loss of life. Implementing the proper fire safety measures can help prevent fires from occurring in the first place. 

Ans: Fire safety refers to the measures and practices that aim to prevent fires, as well as strategies for minimising the risk and impact of fires. 

Ans: The 5 fire safety rules include the following: 1. Keep the flammable materials away from heat sources. 2. Never leave the cooking unattended. 3. Install and maintain smoke detectors or alarms. 4. Have a fire protection plan and practice it at regular intervals. 5. Practice the safety of electricity.

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  1. PDF The Field Study

    THE FIELD STUDY AS AN EDUCATIONAL TECHNIQUE. Field study is one of the outdoor education methods (Hammerman 1980, McRae 1990, Priest 1993, Hammerman, Hammerman and Hammerman, 2000), which, according to Watts (Papadimitriou 2002) are rooted in fields such as philosophy, epistemology and naturalism. Many educationists such as Pestalozzi, Froebel ...

  2. PDF My Field Experience Reflection: Stephanie Hofer

    My Field Experience Reflection After concluding my field experience at Shawnee Middle School, I feel more enthusiastic about my decision to become an educator. While observing students in the classroom setting, I was able to learn more about the teaching profession as a whole. I also learned more about myself as a developing teacher.

  3. Field Study Guide: Definition, Steps & Examples

    Planning a field study is a critical first step in ensuring successful research. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your field study: 1. Define your research question. When developing a good research question, you should make it clear, concise, and specific.

  4. Field Studies Benefit Students and Teachers

    Cognitive development and motivation are also enhanced when students are active participants in the planning of the field study and in the activity itself. These benefits are applicable to both secondary and elementary students. Teachers also benefit from field studies. The excursions add new dimensions to education through "teachable moments ...

  5. Field Study Definition, Methods & Examples

    Field study is a method of research that involves collecting data outside of a laboratory or experimental setting. Also called field research, or fieldwork, this method conducts research in a ...

  6. Field Research: A Graduate Student's Guide

    Based on the experience of five junior scholars, this paper offers answers to questions that graduate students puzzle over, often without the benefit of others' "lessons learned.". This practical guide engages theory and praxis, in support of an epistemologically and methodologically pluralistic discipline.

  7. The Benefits of Field Study · CITLS · Lafayette College

    Higher Education Research and Development, 7, 63-77. Nguyen, V.H., Nguyen, H.H. (2018). The Effectiveness of the Industrial Field Trip in Introduction to Engineering: A Case Study at Hung Yen University of Technology and Education, Vietnam. International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education, 55(3), 273-289. Rone, T.R. (2008).

  8. (PDF) The field study as an educational technique in ...

    THE FIELD STUDY AS AN EDUCATIONAL TECHNIQUE. Field study is one of the outdoor education methods (Hammerman 1980, McRae. 1990, Priest 1993, Hammerman, Hammerman and Hammerman, 2000), w hich ...


    Field Study 1 assisted the field study students to attest the behavior of the pupils in the real classroom setting. Based on our field study observations, indeed, a conducive classroom which are basically safe, clean, orderly, well-ventilated, adequate lighted and spacious makes a big impact on the learners' capability to learn.

  10. PDF Field Studies in Geography

    the field study trip well in advance. As stated, the field study should complement the learning in the classroom and should be undertaken to address specific outcomes. Teachers should prepare questions to be answered and/or develop specific guidelines on what students should observe or what information should be gathered during the field study.

  11. Enhancement of learning through field study

    Field study is an additional learning activity which provide real learning environment for students to learn from observations at fields. Much of the learning makes use of observations, reflection on observations, experimentations with phenomena and the use of firsthand data and daily experiences (Bloom, 1984).

  12. The Practices of the Field Study Courses among Teacher Education

    INTRODUCTION The field study is an integral part of the Pre-Service Program and is the basis for much of the upper level course work required by student teachers. The field study allows students to: gain experience in integrating the theoretical perspectives learned in the classroom with experiences gained in the field; achieve insights into the workings of an organization; become more ...

  13. The natural world

    The benefits of study. The value of field study is vast: field experiences not only contribute to better science, but also create better scientists, citizens, and people, thereby substantially affecting the human-nature relationships that form the basis for sustainability. Observing nature is the touchstone for understanding how life works, and ...

  14. The effectiveness of field education in social work education: A

    This article draws on a mixed-methods study, with data sourced from both questionnaires and in-depth interviews with university field education staff, former social work students, and field educators.

  15. The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2021

    3. The Surprising Power of Pretesting. Asking students to take a practice test before they've even encountered the material may seem like a waste of time—after all, they'd just be guessing. But new research concludes that the approach, called pretesting, is actually more effective than other typical study strategies.

  16. Importance Of Field Study

    Field study is an investigation conducted in realistic situations. It is a frequently used study in social sciences and education. This study illustrates the real situation and natural behavior. The researcher should be at the place of study within a specific time and condition to observe and conduct a direct research on selected research samples.

  17. What Is a Field Study

    Field Study is intended to provide education students with practical learning experiences in which they can observe, verify, reflect on, and actually participate in the dynamics of the teaching-learning process in traditional school settings.

  18. Education As Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Production, Theory and

    2. Education as Interdisciplinary Field: Areas and Issues - Dynamics for Intertextualities . In theoretical and practical terms, that is, in the realm of Theory and Practice, Education is field of great complexity that requires an a interdisciplinary study and praxis. In this area of Knowledge and Human

  19. Writing in Education

    Research is a big part of writing in the field of education. The information below can help you when doing research in your courses and beyond. Databases. When researching in the field of education, your greatest resource is the information available in the University Library. Some education specific databases include:

  20. Field Study 1

    Field Study 1 is the first in a series of six sequential studies in the Bachelor of Elementary Education and the Bachelor of Secondary Education Programs (BEED and BSED) offered by the Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs). Field study 1 is linked with a professional education subject.

  21. Field Of Study Essay Examples

    Get your free examples of research papers and essays on Field Of Study here. Only the A-papers by top-of-the-class students. Learn from the best! ... There is a consensus that to get anywhere in life, in this day and era one needs to quality education. According to a report formally released in 2009 by the National Governors Association, it is ...

  22. Field Study 2 Reflection

    Another new experiences, adventures and knowledge are waiting for us in this Field Study book. During my fieldwork, I realize how much teachers do to bring up a good education to the students and maintain the safe and positive learning environment. All interactions with the students and teachers must have professional manners.

  23. Teaching And The Field Of Education

    Satisfactory Essays. 1185 Words. 5 Pages. Open Document. Teaching and the field of education begins with a passion. After which, one should be able to see the commitment to education through the demonstration of achievement in their students. Growing up, I remember hearing stories from my parents on how the beginning of their careers in the ...

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    Essay on Diversity in India: "Unity in diversity is India's strength. There is simplicity in every Indian. There is unity in every corner of India.". As India celebrates 77 years of independence, it's crucial to explore the vast diversity that defines this nation. Despite the colonial past, which attempted to diminish the rich tapestry ...

  25. [2404.13414] Evaluating the Effectiveness of LLMs in Introductory

    The integration of AI assistants, especially through the development of Large Language Models (LLMs), into computer science education has sparked significant debate. An emerging body of work has looked into using LLMs in education, but few have examined the impacts of LLMs on students in entry-level programming courses, particularly in real-world contexts and over extended periods. To address ...

  26. Gender pay gap remained stable over past 20 years in US

    The gender gap in pay has remained relatively stable in the United States over the past 20 years or so. In 2022, women earned an average of 82% of what men earned, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers. These results are similar to where the pay gap stood in 2002, when women earned 80% as much as men.

  27. AI Index Report

    The AI Index report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence (AI). Our mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, broadly sourced data in order for policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public to develop a more thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex field ...

  28. Use of ChatGPT for schoolwork among US teens

    Roughly one-in-five teenagers who have heard of ChatGPT say they have used it to help them do their schoolwork, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. With a majority of teens having heard of ChatGPT, that amounts to 13% of all U.S. teens who have used the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in ...

  29. Essay on Fire Safety in 200 and 500+ words in English for Students

    The Science of Fire. Fire is a chemical reaction that involves fuel, heat, and oxygen. Combining the three elements results as releasing of heat, light, and various reaction products. Further, fire requires a continuous supply of all three components to keep burning. Removing any one of them helps extinguish the fire.