Science Museums as an educator’s tool for learning to teach primary school science

Megan June Runacres, Christopher Thompson, Tina Overton

Abstract


This research aimed to explore the ways in which interactive science centres can best support primary school teachers to facilitate inspired scientific education in the hope their students will pursue STEM education throughout their schooling. It investigated the effects of a science centre excursion experience on local primary school teachers’ confidence and attitudes toward science and teaching science. A total of 24 participants were interviewed and surveyed for this research with data collection occurring over 3 phases; before the excursion, on excursion and after. The excursion was able to improve the self-rated confidence for science teaching of one-third of participants and was able to reignite the passion for science for several others, reminding them how accessible teaching science can be for primary aged students. Teachers’ educational background in science seemed to positively influence confidence for science teaching, as did their years of teaching experience. From this research, three recommendations have been made to the science centre to help them to support teachers in teaching science passionately and in line with modern students needs and allow students to benefit from the excursion experience to the utmost. These involve the development of implementable learning activities for before and after the excursion.

Keywords


Science Centres, Interactive Learning, Science Education, Elementary Teaching

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