Describing Connections between Science Content and Future Careers: Implementing Texas Curriculum for Rural At-Risk High School Students Using Purposefully-Designed Field Trips

Tommye Hutson, Susan Cooper, Tony Talbot

Abstract


The state of Texas has an ‘essential knowledge’ component in some high school science courses indicating that students be able to describe connections between academic science content and future jobs or training through effective exposure to course content. The participants in this study were from a small rural high school in central Texas. Each was labeled as ‘at-risk’ and self-identified an inability to describe those types of connections after earning credit in more than one science course with that ‘essential knowledge’ component. A career-focused field trip to a local vocational/technology training center was designed to address that particular deficit. This study followed a narrative multiple-case case study design. Data included school records, surveys, individual and focus group interviews, and field notes from observations during the field trip. The effectiveness of the field trip was evident as each participant was able to describe connections immediately following the excursion.

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