WorldStrides – Informing and Supporting Ford's Theatre

On March 2, the WorldStrides Curriculum and Academics Team was joined by three Washington, D.C., Course Leaders to collaborate with the Education Team at Ford’s Theatre.

Wendy Amato
L to R: David Turin, Erica Rozek, Randi Kessler Chapman, Anita Ehler, Carrie Weber, Wendy Amato and Kiersten Teitelbaum

Ford’s Theatre’s Associate Director of Interpretive Resources, David McKenzie, requested the focus group knowing that WorldStrides is a top provider of students to their location. He explained that the purpose of their meeting was to inform Ford’s Theatre’s continued development of student engagement strategic planning. WorldStrides’ understanding of students’ experiential learning processes, our appreciation for itinerary locations that are student-centered, and our Course Leaders’ knowledge of the reality of working with large groups of students all combine to make meetings of this kind highly productive and enriching.

Ford’s Theatre conducted an extensive study to gather baseline data on the quality of out-of-town student experiences. According to the report, the research questions guiding this study were:

  1. What parts of the site narrative do students find most compelling and why?
  2. How and to what degree do students have access to and engage with digital devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, social media uses)?

Results were collected through a combination of questionnaires and observations. Last season, WorldStrides assisted Ford’s Theatre by identifying groups to participate in the study. This season, we are available to help with their continued commitment to delivering meaningful student experiences that showcase Lincoln’s legacy.

Ford’s Theatre’s Director of Education and Interpretation Sarah Jencks explained that “getting the perspective of both Course Leaders and Education staff in such depth will really help us make something that adds value to the student experience at Ford’s.” WorldStrides’ Vice President of Curriculum and Academics Wendy Amato commented that “WorldStrides Course Leaders are the best and they have a keen sense of what works and doesn’t work with students on programs. Their commitment to student engagement makes their feedback especially useful. Student work from our online academic options give my team concrete examples of the knowledge and understanding students gain from their educational travel experiences.”

Additional collaboration between WorldStrides and Ford’s Theatre can be enjoyed through the webinar library available online at (scroll down to “Resources and Webinars”).

Learn more about our Student Educational Travel Programs.

Article written by Wendy Amato

Wendy Amato
Wendy leads education efforts across WorldStrides' family of brands, helping students of all ages realize transformative learning experiences through travel. When she's not planning innovative professional development for teachers, writing online courses for students, or leading WorldStrides' re-accreditation efforts, she's typically baking chocolate chip cookies or telling (bad) jokes to make her co-workers smile.
Categories: Education