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Teaching Science in Science Museums and Science Centers: Towards a New Pedagogy?

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Title: Teaching Science in Science Museums and Science Centers: Towards a New Pedagogy?


1
Teaching Science in Science Museums and Science
Centers Towards a New Pedagogy?
  • Katerina Plakitsi
  • Assistant Professor of Science Education,
    University of Ioannina, Greece
  • Intensive Programmes (IP)
  • LIGHT, IOANNINA 2012

2
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  • t?? d?afe???t?? ?a???st??
  • ??µ???a? (?a? p??ta ?at ????
  • ???es?a?).
  • ?????e?t??
  •  
  • Opposition brings concord.
  • Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.
  • Heraclitus
  • Fragment 98, as translated by Philip Wheelwright,
    in Wheelwright, P. (1966). The Presocratics.
    Indianapolis ITT.

3
FormaL AND INFORMAL SCIENCE EDUCATION
  • formal science education includes typical
    learning environments, approaches or contexts
  • informal science education consists of
    free-choice learning environments, approaches or
    contexts
  • lifelong learning environments play an important
    role in human learning

4
Formal and informal education
  • is represented by the term science in society
  • presents a global educational scene
  • forms a dialectical relationship between science
    andfor society

5
  • Science in Society also means learning science in
    science museums and science centers
  • schools do their science courses in science
    museums and science centers.
  • teachers, students and parents interact during
    their daily experiences as citizens
  • science in society became a priority in Europe

6
  • Roth and Mc Ginn (1997), proposed
    deinstitutionalizing school science education
  • including
  • ethics,
  • culture,
  • informal debates,
  • strengthening the role of women in science,
  • supporting formal and informal science education
    in schools and in science centers and museums
  • focusing on science and society communication

7
Discussion with your neighbor
  • Share your experience about formal and informal
    science education.
  • Provide some examples.
  • Specify how your experience connects science to
    society.
  • Write down your description and return it to us.

8
A new necessity of
  • expanding science education to include cultural
    acquisition and participation in the community
    (Roth and Tobin, 2002 Roth, 2010).
  • teaching science in science museums and science
    centers is connected with the sociocultural
    aspects of science education.

9
Cultural-Historical Theory of Activity
  • Activity theory has its origins
  • in classical German philosophy (from Kant to
    Hegel),
  • in the writings of Marx and Engels, and
  • in the Soviet Russian cultural-historical
    psychology of Vygotsky, Leont'ev, and Luria.

10
  • Today activity theory is becoming truly
    international and multidisciplinary.
  • This process entails the discovery of new and old
    related approaches, discussion partners, and
    allies, from American pragmatism and Wittgenstein
    to ethnomethodology and theories of
    self-organizing systems (Engestrom, 1999).

11
  • Activity theory is a framework or descriptive
    tool (Nardi, 1996) that provides
  • "a unified account of Vygotsky's proposals on the
    nature and development of human behaviour"
    (Lantolf, 2006, p. 8).

12
Activity Theory
Tools
Outcomes
Subject
Object
Figure 1 Components of the activity system
(Engeström, 1987)
13
Cultural Historical Activity Theory framework in
science education
  • can expand the borders of our pedagogical
    knowledge
  • can be more liberating and more motivating
  • Culture becomes structure

14
  • students cross the borders by horizontal or
    vertical movements among different interactive
    systems
  • learning in science museums and science centers
    can physically and logically be embedded in the
    CHAT context
  • museum exhibitions are strong cultural tools
  • central mediative role in learning and culture
    making.

15
Discussion with your neighbor
  • Are you familiar with any socio-cultural
    perspectives?
  • Describe in a few words the tension or
    perspective.
  • Write down your description and return it to us.

16
  • Museum
  • is a non-profit, permanent institution
  • in the service of society and open to the public
  • acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and
    exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of
    humanity
  • supports education, study and enjoyment

17
  • Is a public social investment with
  • powerful influence on society
  • precious artifacts have been moved, protected, or
    stolen during war.
  • annual museum attendance is close to a billion
    visits a year
  • infinitely diverse

18
museums of natural sciences and technology
  • 1. The museum-institution, which expresses the
    traditional form of museum (incorporates intense
    educational activities).

19
  • 2. The virtual museum, which is a museum without
    walls where networking and new forms of
    communication dominate.

20
  • 3. The childrens museum, which primarily serves
    children.

21
  • 4. The local museum (or museum in situ), which is
    connected with the local natural and social
    environment.

22
1.1. Museum-Institution Collections
  • Figures1. a. London Science Museum, U.K. Apollo
    10 mode. b. The Future of Biometrics in the new
    Antenna Gallery

23
1.2. Museum-Institution Experiments-Inventions
24
1.3. Museum-Institution Cultural Centers
25
2. The Virtual Museum
  • digital culture is web communication
  • creation of many virtual museums of natural
    science and technology
  • systems of virtual reality and augmented reality
    are central in each modern museum
  • three dimensions (technological, modern,
    philosophical)

26
Some useful links for virtual museums
  • International Council of Museums,
    http//icom.museum/vlmp/
  • The Virtual Library of Museums in USA,
    http//museumca.org/usa/
  • European Network of Science Centres and Museums,
    www.ecsite.net, (accessed 27/7/2010)

27
3. Childrens Museums
  • More than 30 million children and families
    visited childrens museums annually.
  • The largest childrens museum is The Childrens
    Museum of Indianapolis (Indiana), which has a
    total of 433,000 square feet.
  • The oldest childrens museum is the Brooklyn
    Childrens Museum (New York), which opened in
    1899 the childrens museum field is 111 years
    young!

28
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29
Figures 4. a. Brooklyn Childrens Museum, founded
in 1899. b. Indianapolis Childrens Museum, U.S
30
4. The Local Museums (Museums In-Situ).
  • important for local communities
  • promote the teaching and learning of science as a
    means of participating in the community
  • E.g. Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in
    Sparta highlights the culture and technology of
    the olive and olive production

31
Figure 6. Mediterranean olive oil museums
32
Limited interpretative paradigms
  • theories for learning science in science museuns
    and science centers have been limited to Falk and
    Dierkings (1992) and Heins explanatory model
    (1998)

33
Modification of the model provided by G. Hein
(1997) about different types of museums related
to different educational theories.
34
THE SOCIAL ROLE OF MUSEUMS
  • Formal and informal education need to have the
    potential to empower citizens to make informed
    decisions in a democratic society (Hein, 2004).
  • Museums are strong cultural tools
  • impact on society is gradually advancing
  • museums change their educational practices

35
THE SOCIAL ROLE OF MUSEUMS
  • gives emphasis to community participation and
    less to marvellous and miraculous exhibitions
  • takes into consideration the subject, the object,
    the tools, the rules, the community, and the
    division of labor
  • requires interdisciplinary working groups with
    both scientists and practitioners and a new
    mentality about the societal role of museums

36
CHAT and museum education
  • accepts and precedes a process ontology
  • does not accept separate entities
  • accepts the inseparability of the individual and
    the group

37
Positivistic versus CHAT epistemology
Positivistic epistemology Formal We do research on the childs phenomenology of the world, the object, time, etc. Intractable For example, in the case of a childs conception of time, we investigate only the conventional aspect of time, which reflects the Newtonian concept of one unique and uniform time in the universe. Decontextualized We do research on childrens conceptions of time independently of childrens sociocultural, economic, family, and school environments. CHAT epistemology Nonformal We do research with many different methods, without neglecting different research forms and traditions Intractable Scientific concepts and also childhood are considered as ongoing processes the teaching/researching refers to some milestones of their evolution. Contextualized We do research on chilrdens conceptions of time based on childrens sociocultural, economic, family, and school environments.
38
Positivistic versus CHAT epistemology
Universalistic The basic principle here is that teaching leads to one form of knowledge a true and stable knowledge. Science is being taught as the discovery of true knowledge, which exists in the real world. Reductionistic only one research method is the scientific one, and any researcher can repeat the same research results any place in the world by following the same method. Unidimensional Reality is uni-dimensional, so research on a childs conception of time therefore assumes the Western concept of time. Multicultural The central idea of this section is that there are many types of science. Different ways of interpreting data lead to multiple world views that create unity from the differences. Local By keeping the local local, we can acquire a rich list of criteria, as well as ways of knowing and learning. Multidimensional Reality and environment are multidimensional and complex. We need new methodologies for teaching and researching in these interactive and progressive systems of relationships.
39
Figure 8. Traveling with birds- Modules.
40
EXAMPLE TRAVELING WITH BIRDS
  • students to be able to
  • Know the more important birds of our homeland.
  • Become familiar with some of the more important
    museums and with some open museums.
  • Connect education in the natural sciences with
    arts and culture.
  • Become informed about environmental problems,
    such as the risks to fauna and biodiversity, in
    combination with the causes behind those threats.
  • Realize the societal role of the natural
    sciences.

41
Travelling with the Birds
  • Goulandris Natural History Museum
  • Diomidis Botanical Garden, Athens
  • Aegean Wildlife Hospital ALKIONI
  • Hellenic Wildlife Hospital EKPAZ
  • Benaki Museum - Archaeological Department
  • Benaki Museum - Department of Popular Art
  • Byzantine and Christian Museum
  • Numismatic Museum of Athens

42
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44
In Conclusion
  • CHAT seems to
  • fit into the social role of museums
  • overcome the obstacles of positivism in science
    education and research
  • provide characteristics of multiplicity,
    dialectics, and unity of differences
  • create educational program in order to implement
    sociocultural practices
  • implement changes and ongoing processes

45
  • Thank you!
  • Communication
  • Katerina Plakitsi
  • Department of Early Childhood Education,
    Ioannina, Greece
  • e-mail kplakits_at_cc.uoi.gr
  • http//erasmus-ip.uoi.gr
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