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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3462

Title: An exploratory study of a new educational method using live animals and visual thinking strategies for natural science teaching in museums
Authors: Genovesi, Jacqueline Sue
Keywords: Education;Museums;Continuing education
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2011
Abstract: The earth is in an environmental crisis that can only be addressed by changing human conservation attitudes. People must have the scientific knowledge to make informed decisions. Research identifying new promising practices, for the use of live animals that incorporate new theories of learning and factors proven to impact learning, is critical. A qualitative case study approach was used to describe the characteristics of a new method of combining live animals with Visual Thinking Strategies. The study explored the following research question: What characterizes the learning experiences of adults during combination live animal and Visual Thinking Strategies presentations? And the following sub-questions: 1a. What types of adult social interactions emerge during these presentations? 1b. What is the relationship between combination live animal and Visual Thinking Strategies presentations and observation skills? A purposive sample of 21 museum-going adults participated in the study over one weekend in the summer of 2010. Data was collected through Personal Meaning Maps, observations, video recordings and focus groups. All data were then coded for categories, patterns and emergent themes. Five major conclusions emerged: 1. Active participation in the “process of science” can be seen during combination live animal/Visual Thinking Strategies presentations. 2. Emotional connections between participants and the animals were demonstrated during the presentations. This may sometimes lead to conservation attitudes. 3. There is a difference in the Visual Thinking Strategies experience at a science museum compared to the typical art museum experience. This difference might stem from the participants differing expectations between art and science. 4. The combination live animal/Visual Thinking Strategies method sometimes facilitates the learning experience through social learning. 5. Observation skills, demonstrated during the combination live animal/Visual Thinking Strategies presentation, were an important component of the characteristics of this new method of teaching with live animals. This study contributed to the understanding of how adults can actively participate in the process of learning at science museums and provides a framework for future research and implications for practice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3462
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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