Abstract

Teachers and Museum Educators’ Views About Inquiry Practices: The Aftermath of a Joint Professional Development Course

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.

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