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Non-Technology Based Approaches to Facilitating Informal Science Learning in Designed Settings

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2016.712173    1,024 Downloads   1,368 Views


Informal learning of science occurs in places other than the classroom. Designated venues for informal science learning, known as designed settings, include such institutions as: aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, living historical museums, natural history museums, nature centers, planetariums, theme parks, and zoos (collectively referred to as “museums” in this literature review). Museums have undergone a radical transformation from insular institutions indifferent to the experiences of visitors to socially-minded institutions deeply committed to education. To promote learning, museums employ several major non-technology based approaches, including emphasizing relevance to the lives of the visitors and championing social causes, tailoring exhibits to appeal to multiple sensory modalities, carefully considering architectural design and exhibit arrangement, and holding special events that foster long-term memory formation. Museums have made great strides toward becoming inclusive environments that foster informal science learning; however, it is clear they will have to keep abreast of the latest social trends and pedagogical developments to avoid losing relevance.

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Zavrel, E. (2016) Non-Technology Based Approaches to Facilitating Informal Science Learning in Designed Settings. Creative Education, 7, 1707-1713. doi: 10.4236/ce.2016.712173.

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