Available Informal Education research projects:

Creating scientific practices with science museums

Contact: Wouter van Joolingen (first supervisor), and Yuri Matteman (Naturalis)

In science education, focus is on the construction of scientific practices. The idea of this is that students get in touch with real science, and engage in authentic scientific work. In such a way, students get engaged in the scientific reasoning encounter the creative and constructive aspects of science. 

In this project you will design a scientific practice around a topic of study that is found in Naturalis, the centre for biodiversity in Leiden. In collaboration with a researcher you will set up teaching material and use proper ICT tools, such as modeling tools to create tasks that constitute a scientific practice. Topic will be chosen in collaboration with Naturalis and can be the evolution of snails, the spreading of diseases though parasites, or the dynamics of populations.

The scientific practice will involve preparatory work at school as well as a visit by the school to Naturalis, in which the students will collect data. For the students the practice should result in a scientific product, such as a model or a research report. Apart from the design, you will study the learning processes of the students by recording and observing their actions and assessing their final products.

Osborne, J. (2014). Teaching scientific practices: Meeting the challenge of change. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(2), 177–196. doi:10.1007/s10972-014-9384-1

Dillon, J. (2011). Teaching Science Outside the Classroom. In R. Toplis, How Science Works (pp. 134–147). Abingdon: Routledge.