This granted research focuses on nurturing science literacy for all generations. Since science literacy is a synthetic ability of various elements and requires a long period of time for each person to acquire, all science museums need to develop a partnership in order for the publics to keep learning science even beyond school age. Science museums also need to prepare appropriate learning settings to sustain the public's curiosity and interest toward science. We administered a research on a new curriculum for after‐school programs and found out two issues in nurturing science literacy in Japan: (1) we lack of experts who develop curricula facilitating a partnership between schools and museums; and (2) we do not have a firm system of learning programs that is age‐hierarchical or an educational policy. We have investigated the vision toward science communicators and how to develop partnerships between science museums and universities, which have given a perspective to solve the first issue.

Based on these previous reports, we have started a new grant research that would determine how lifelong learning should be prepared by science museums. We develop programs from the four scientific disciplines life and human science, space, earth, and environmental science, material science, and technology/engineering, all of which are composed of programs for each generation group divided according to their roles in the society and developmental stage (kindergarteners and lower elementary school students, upper elementary and junior high school students, high school and university students, prime ages, middle and old ages). We then implement and evaluate the programs in eight science museums from four areas in Japan, and develop a system of those programs and create a universal model that will be usable for any kind of science museums. By the end of the research period, we will develop effective programs for each generation groups to nurture science literacy, make a program system through evaluation of the program, and theorize the program systems and disseminate them to the other institutions.

In this research, we develop and implement programs for all generations and evaluate them. Each program is designed to have the aspects of facilitating sensitivity, understanding of scientific knowledge and concepts, facilitating scientific thinking and making right decisions in the society, the ability to communicate and apply scientific findings.

In 2007, we implemented programs to families that include kindergarteners and elementary school students. Some examples focused on painting of marine creatures, which are deeply related to Japanese people's daily life, using various devices; hand drawing, cell phone picturing, and a computer 3‐D system. This program expects to facilitate communication between generations such as families and participants and the staff.

We will move to focusing on upper generation groups each year until 2010. Every program practice is associated with educational evaluation that investigates the current state of people's science literacy, achievement of learning contents, and the degree of commitment.

Although a number of programs are developed and implemented in museums, no study has been found that reports a system of programs based on diverse generations including adults. This grant research developing such a program system throughout the generation is quite original.

This research has two aspects as the expected outcomes:

1. A focus on science literacy in developing programs and evaluating them enables to show validity of the program and correlation with science literacy. It also enables to provide practical evaluation methods suitable for the informal settings.
2. Development and systemization of the programs clarify special features of museum education and present a model on the theoretical framework. This scheme enables to share the strategy to nurture science literacy with the other science museums.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Development of an educational program framework for science museum to nurture public science literacy

Yoshikazu Ogawa   National Museum of Nature and Science

Midori Takahashi   National Museum of Nature and Science

Hiroyuki Arita‐Kikutani   National Museum of Nature and Science

This granted research focuses on nurturing science literacy for all generations. Since science literacy is a synthetic ability of various elements and requires a long period of time for each person to acquire, all science museums need to develop a partnership in order for the publics to keep learning science even beyond school age. Science museums also need to prepare appropriate learning settings to sustain the public's curiosity and interest toward science. We administered a research on a new curriculum for after‐school programs and found out two issues in nurturing science literacy in Japan: (1) we lack of experts who develop curricula facilitating a partnership between schools and museums; and (2) we do not have a firm system of learning programs that is age‐hierarchical or an educational policy. We have investigated the vision toward science communicators and how to develop partnerships between science museums and universities, which have given a perspective to solve the first issue.

Based on these previous reports, we have started a new grant research that would determine how lifelong learning should be prepared by science museums. We develop programs from the four scientific disciplines life and human science, space, earth, and environmental science, material science, and technology/engineering, all of which are composed of programs for each generation group divided according to their roles in the society and developmental stage (kindergarteners and lower elementary school students, upper elementary and junior high school students, high school and university students, prime ages, middle and old ages). We then implement and evaluate the programs in eight science museums from four areas in Japan, and develop a system of those programs and create a universal model that will be usable for any kind of science museums. By the end of the research period, we will develop effective programs for each generation groups to nurture science literacy, make a program system through evaluation of the program, and theorize the program systems and disseminate them to the other institutions.

In this research, we develop and implement programs for all generations and evaluate them. Each program is designed to have the aspects of facilitating sensitivity, understanding of scientific knowledge and concepts, facilitating scientific thinking and making right decisions in the society, the ability to communicate and apply scientific findings.

In 2007, we implemented programs to families that include kindergarteners and elementary school students. Some examples focused on painting of marine creatures, which are deeply related to Japanese people's daily life, using various devices; hand drawing, cell phone picturing, and a computer 3‐D system. This program expects to facilitate communication between generations such as families and participants and the staff.

We will move to focusing on upper generation groups each year until 2010. Every program practice is associated with educational evaluation that investigates the current state of people's science literacy, achievement of learning contents, and the degree of commitment.

Although a number of programs are developed and implemented in museums, no study has been found that reports a system of programs based on diverse generations including adults. This grant research developing such a program system throughout the generation is quite original.

This research has two aspects as the expected outcomes:

1. A focus on science literacy in developing programs and evaluating them enables to show validity of the program and correlation with science literacy. It also enables to provide practical evaluation methods suitable for the informal settings.
2. Development and systemization of the programs clarify special features of museum education and present a model on the theoretical framework. This scheme enables to share the strategy to nurture science literacy with the other science museums.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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