Abstract: This article presents the results of a quasi-experimental research that has been conducted by the (Infrastructure of the authors) for two years. This research aimed at increasing student’s interest for science and technology (ST) by enhanced pedagogical interventions, designed by their teachers in the context of a learning community. It also aimed at measuring this possible increase. Results show that three of the four intervention types (scientific inquiry, context-based and project-based learning) had positive effects of various strengths on students’ interest, but that collaborative teaching did not. Hypotheses to explain these results and recommendations are formulated.
Abstract: Current science curricula adopt inquiry as a basic component in their proposals, and at the same time they place emphasis on the non-formal aspect of education, due to the fact that inquiry is easier to be implemented in science centers and museums. In this context, both teachers and museum educators’ roles are viewed with a common lens, as though both groups of professionals have critical roles in the success of a school museum visit, they do not necessarily share the same agenda for the visit. In the present small-scale qualitative research, we studied two Greek science teachers and two museum educators who attended a joint professional development course on the Tinkering approach in Milan in the context of an EU funded project. We looked into the impact of the joint course on their views about inquiry and specifically their views about inquiry before and after being exposed to inquiry based Tinkering activities. We also studied their views about the joint course per se. Data collection was based on semi-structured interviews and the participants’ notes. The results point both to some different and common points between teachers and museum educators’ views. The opportunity to exploit the results in a broader non-formal science education context is also being discussed.
Almost 60 years ago Jawaharlal Nehru speaking about the future of India’s economy and society observed that it is “science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of sanitation and literacy, of superstition and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people… The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.”