Wadman, M., deProphetis Driscoll, W. & Kurzawa, E. (2009). Creating communicative scientists. A collaboration between a science center, college, and science industry. Journal of Museum Education, 34(4), 41–54.
In this paper, the authors describe the process and results of an innovative three-partner project that involved students, scientists, and ISE educators in developing resources for a young audience.
Watermeyer, R. (2010). Social network science: pedagogy, dialogue, deliberation. Journal of Science Communication, 9(1), 1–9.
ISE professionals can use this study as a guide to help them in understanding the uses of social networking sites (SNS). The author maintains that SNS provide a space that allows the public to become better acquainted with the work of scientists, stimulating transparency and accountability, and that encourages the public to become active contributors to scientific research and debate.
Tsybulskaya, D., & Camhi, J. (2009). Accessing and incorporating visitors' entrance narratives in guided museum tours. Curator: The Museum Journal, 51(1), 81–100.
ISE educators who provide guided tours at museums and similar institutions will be interested in this paper as it addresses how informal educators can assess a visitor's "entrance narrative," or collection of experiences, memories, and knowledge related to the subject matter of the museum, and respond to it in ways that enhance and increase visitors engagement with the subject matter during the tour. Visitors that experienced the entrance narrative mapping technique described here believed it helped them more deeply engage in the subject matter of the tour.
Dewitt, J., & Hohenstein, J. (2010). School trips and classroom lessons: An investigation into teacher student talk in two settings. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(4), 454-473.
In teacher-student interactions during pre-visit, in-museum, and post–field trip interactions, open-ended styles of questions tended to happen more often during the in-museum part of the field trip, although closed-ended questions were still more frequent overall.
Evans, E. M., Spiegel, A. N., Gram, W., Frazier, B. N., Tare, M., Thompson, S., et al. (2010). A conceptual guide to natural history museum visitors’ understanding of evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3), 326–353.
This study is an examination of the patterns of explanation in adult museum visitors about evolution and creationism, and the coherence of their reasoning patterns, including the persistence of intuitive childhood beliefs. The responses of all the visitors were a mix of novice naturalistic (intuitive), informed naturalistic (evolutionary), and creationist reasoning patterns. This paper can be of help to science educators to recognize different patterns of visitors’ reasoning about evolution to support the development of a more informed understanding of natural selection, the micro- and macro- processes of evolution, and the evolutionary ideas of Darwin.
Van Schijndel, T. J. P., Franse, R. K., & Raijmakers, M. E. J. (2010). The Exploratory Behavior Scale: Assessing young visitors’ hands-on behavior in science museums. Science Education, 94, 794–809.
The authors of this paper were interested in knowing how parents can support exploratory behaviors of their preschool-aged children at museum exhibits. They developed a quantitative instrument based on psychological literature on exploration and play in order to describe and quantify young children's increasing levels of exploration of their environment. They then tested the measurement tool with parents and their preschool-aged children to investigate what types of adult coaching would achieve high-level exploratory behavior at various exhibits.
Pekarik, A. J. (2010). From knowing to not knowing: moving beyond “outcomes.” Curator: The Museum Journal, 53(1) 105–115.
In this paper, Pekarik challenges the conventional approaches that institutions use to monitor success. He argues that outcome-based evaluations simply record impact in a set of predetermined categories and do not document the many and varied effects that participants may experience. This paper may be of interest to informal educators seeking new ways of thinking about program evaluation.
Gusiasola, J., Solbes, J., Barragues, J-J., Morentin, M., & Moreno, A. (2009). Students’ understanding of the special theory of relativity and design for a guided visit to a science museum. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15), 2085–2104.
In this paper, the learning resources and museum visit that formed part of an undergraduate teaching sequence on the special theory of relativity are described and discussed. Findings highlight the importance of integrating pre- and post-visit activities, although the methods used to evaluate the impact of the experience do not offer conclusive results.
Miller, J. D. (2010) Adult science learning in the internet era. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53(2), 191–208.
Focusing on where people find information about issues relevant to civic society, the author of this paper concludes that, in contrast to the Internet and related information technologies, informal science institutions are less impactful on civic science literacy. The implications of his findings are that in the Internet era an informal science institution's in-house presentation of intriguing phenomena may not be sufficient to supporting an engaged scientifically literate citizenry.
Stavrova, O., & Urhahne, D. (2010). Modification of a school programme in the Deutsches Museum to enhance students’ attitudes and understanding. International Journal of Science Education, 32(17), 2291–2310.
A modified guided tour increased students’ intrinsic motivation, interest, and perceived competence, and was more interesting and less boring than a traditional docent-led tour. Providing students with more opportunities for group work and active participation led to improvement in understanding and motivational and emotional states during the visit. Experiencing less negative emotions (anger) during the visit and prior knowledge contributed to a better understanding.