This poster presents PhD research aiming to assess the impact on primary pupils of 3 different methods of learning about the science of the natural world; habitat exploration, natural history collection handling and live animal experiences.
It draws on the fields of research in science communication and education in museums, zoos, aquaria and natural environment sites.
The question arose after collecting data from 40 organisations who offered education events to support the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Educators recommended greater access to real experiences for pupils, citing specimens, outdoor exploration, and living things as authentic, memorable and exciting learning experiences.
Historically, natural history collection handling was combined with habitat exploration to develop meaningful understanding in a local context. Currently, there are examples where live animal shows are used to enhance natural history collection and natural environment visits.
This research aims to compare the impact on learners of these three ways of learning about the natural world, and to make informed recommendations about whether there is a benefit to combining methods of learning about natural history.
This research will have implications for partnership between organisations involved in natural science communication.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Bringing natural history to life
Assessing the impact of three methods of learning about the natural world

Grace Kimble   Institute of Education, London

This poster presents PhD research aiming to assess the impact on primary pupils of 3 different methods of learning about the science of the natural world; habitat exploration, natural history collection handling and live animal experiences.
It draws on the fields of research in science communication and education in museums, zoos, aquaria and natural environment sites.
The question arose after collecting data from 40 organisations who offered education events to support the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Educators recommended greater access to real experiences for pupils, citing specimens, outdoor exploration, and living things as authentic, memorable and exciting learning experiences.
Historically, natural history collection handling was combined with habitat exploration to develop meaningful understanding in a local context. Currently, there are examples where live animal shows are used to enhance natural history collection and natural environment visits.
This research aims to compare the impact on learners of these three ways of learning about the natural world, and to make informed recommendations about whether there is a benefit to combining methods of learning about natural history.
This research will have implications for partnership between organisations involved in natural science communication.

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

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