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Title: Science centres as sites for learning : the case of a Greek environmental centre
Authors: Dimopoulos, Kostas
Matiatos, Spyridon
Koulaidis, Vasilis
Keywords: Education -- Mediterranean Region
Science -- Study and teaching -- Mediterranean Region
Science museums -- Educational aspects -- Greece
Interactive science museums
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Malta. Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research
Citation: Dimopoulos, K., Matiatos, S. & Koulaidis, V. (2003). Science centres as sites for learning : the case of a Greek environmental centre. Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 8(1), 7-28
Abstract: Given the lack of exploratory orientation of science education in most of the Mediterranean countries, Science Centres could enrich our efforts to teach the investigative nature of science more effectively. This study aims at presenting a grid for analyzing the pedagogical implications of the exhibits’ design in a science centre. The construction of the grid is based on the theoretical notions of classification, formality and framing. The representational modes employed in a science centre (e.g. written language, formatting and layout of written text, twoand three-dimensional representations, lighting, etc) contribute to the modulation of the levels of classification, formality and framing. In order to illustrate the potential of the grid, we used it to analyze some of the exhibits of the ‘Gaia’ Environmental Centre in Greece. The results demonstrated that science is presented as a specialized body of knowledge (strong classification), in this case, expressed in vernacular and realistic codes (low formality) and consisting of elements that can be discovered through active personal involvement (weak framing). These results show that the design of a science centres’ exhibits can potentially allow students to have access to the cognitive landscape of the specialized scientific knowledge by removing the barriers of the specialized expressive codes and by treating them as active explorers.
ISSN: 1024-5375
Appears in Collections:MJES, Volume 8, No. 1 (2003)
MJES, Volume 8, No. 1 (2003)

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