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Staff members' ideas about visitors' learning at science and technology centres

[journal article]

Davidsson, Eva; Jakobsson, Anders

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-132547

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Abstract This study investigates staff members' ideas and assumptions about visitors' learning at science and technology centres (STC). It also aims to explore in what ways their reasoning intersect with existing theories about learning within the field of STC research. The results of the study reveal that the staff members allude to learning processes differently by distinguishing organised from non-organised learning, theoretical learning from practical hands-on learning and serious from non-serious learning. According to most of the staff members, these also conclude with different learning outcomes. Further on, a majority of the staff members state that they do not have any scientific knowledge about learning despite the fact that they work with the construction of new exhibitions. When discussing visitors' learning, the staff members instead refer to personal experiences, professional experiences, professional education and external references. When it comes to how they reason about the natural scientific content, nearly all express that they use references from the natural science community and researchers' knowledge. The article moreover discusses in what ways a sociocultural approach may be used in order to understand how learning arises when visitors interact with exhibits.
Classification Special areas of Education
Free Keywords informal education; learning; qualitative research; science centre; staff members
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 129-146
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 31 (2008) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690701649588
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)