Promoting and Transforming Communication about Science between Preschool Children and Their Guardians at the Museum
Yoshikazu Ogawa – National Museum of Nature and Science. Japan
Satomi Kamijima – Officer, Museum Activity Development Department, National Museum of Nature and Science Japan
Yusuke Kumano – Chief, Museum Activity Development Department, National Museum of Nature and Science Japan
Tatsuya Ogawa – Officer,Innnovation Center for Nature and Science Museums, National Museum of Nature and Science Japan
Saki Park – Consultant, Healthcare & Public Service, Accenture Japan Ltd. Japan
ComPaSS (an abbreviation for “Communication,” “Parents,” “Science” and “Society”) is an exhibition designed to encourage communication about science between preschool children and their parents (guardians) at the National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS). NMNS thinks it is important that children share their wonder and discovery at the museum with their parents and take the experience back to their daily lives. It is necessary for children to discover the world of science in the museum together with their parents because they reflect on and learn from what they have experienced. “Parents are intermediaries between children and the outside world, and learning at home is the starting point of all education.” With this basic concept, NMNS sets up natural history specimens as exhibits at ComPaSS to encourage “child-parent communication.” Through playing and sharing experiences using ComPaSS, we aim to let children cultivate their sensitivity and acquire the habit of thinking scientifically based on the Science Literacy Goals (Ogawa et al. 2014 PCST).
The reports by parents who used ComPaSS more than three times have been analyzed. In the past two years, 103 reports about children’s behavior and attitudes were collected. Keywords related to “sensitivity cultivation” and “cultivation of scientific thinking habits” as stated in the Science Literacy Goals were picked up from these reports and analyzed. Several statements indicate that the children continued to show interest in nature and science by talking and asking questions about what they observed in ComPaSS (e.g., noticing the difference of the teeth of animals in picture books, asking questions about which parts of plants are eaten as vegetables, gesturing how the horse would run when seeing the real horse at the ranch, etc.). This suggests that the experiences at ComPaSS were reflected in the children's scientific behaviors and attitudes, which were transformed in their daily lives.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.