Learning arena

The role of informal environments for learning science has especially been underlined by studies that focus on the various aspects of how people make meaning related to science and the range of actors involved in their learning (Bell et al. 2009, Falk et al 2012). Research on science learning has been related primarily to issues such as how to develop interest in science, how science knowledge and understanding develops, how to engage in scientific reasoning, how to stimulate reflection on science or to engage in scientific practices as well as aspects of how people identify with scientific enterprises (Bell et al 2009). Our current focus in this project on the role of informal contributors and environments for science learning, can be closely connected to the considerable body of evidence that show how science is failing to engage young people (Jenkins & Nelson, 2005; Lyons, 2006; Osborne & Collins, 2001; Sjøberg & Schreiner, 2005). Derived from this, a central discussion addresses how engagement with science is based on a cumulative process that crosses institutional contexts of schooling, museum, and everyday and-community based learning. A central challenge in the field is to gain deeper understanding of the boundary crossing and bridging activities between these social and institutional contexts and to develop a framework for designing learning environments that support the heterogeneous aspects of science learning. Herein lies an implicit argument about the need to change the pedagogical framework for science learning both in schools as well as in science centres and museums. This focus area Science centers as learning arenas seeks to respond to the overall problem area in science centre research: How do science centres work as learning arenas?
The focus area includes a special focus on the exhibition as one arena, and a focus on science educators reflective practices related to defining science centers as learning arenas.

This section has two sub sections: The Exhibition  and School science center collaboration.