Developing young people’s interest in sciences and technologies and improving their performances in these domains are crucial issues for most countries. School and curricula activities are of course on the front-stage as they are the primary contexts where young people supposedly acquire scientific knowledge and develop scientific interest and competences. However school is but one learning context: extra-school settings and structured activities should cooperate with schools in developing interest in sciences through their own specific structures, agenda, pedagogies and related conception of learning. The renewed attention in Science Centres’ organization and in their learning efficacy is rooted on the diffused consensus on the need to develop and nurture young people’s interest in sciences and technologies. In Science Centres children and teenagers may approach these universes of knowledge in ways that are specific and different from those at stake in the curricular activities experienced in classroom. Broadly speaking Science Centres are organized according to some local variant of the Deweyian activist theory of education. Often combined with some other co-occurring educational theoretical frameworks (i.e. “learning through participating”), the “learning by doing and by discovering” is the leit motiv of most Science Centres. How these educational models are enacted in a Science Centre, its exhibitory strategies, artefacts, permanent or temporary exhibit? How do creators and curators conceive and construct artefacts and exhibits that do have some intended and specific meaning and yet are located in a context that needs to stay close to the “learning by discovering” educational model? How to cope with both the inner logic and constraints of the context and the rhetorical efficacy of the artefact? How do visitors make sense of the artefacts and contribute in creating its meaning? This chapter reports the methodology and some preliminary results of an exploratory study conducted in the Science Centre of Montreal. The study was aimed to analyse an immersive-interactive technology The Panoscope 360 from its conception to the installation as a part of a larger exhibit of the Montreal Science Centre. The principal goals of the study were to develop a formal model for the analysis of the context and the exhibit; to figure out the phenomenology of the strategies adopted by the visitors to make sense of the artefact; and to evaluate the degree of fluidity of the artefact with respect to the visitors’ strategies of sense making. Results of this study confirm the unavoidable high degree of indeterminacy and openness which characterises a visit at a Science Centre and the making sense of an artefact within such a context. Results also lead to some considerations on how Science Centres cope with their incompatible goals: transmitting a corpus of scientific and technological knowledge and promoting the individual’s sense of agency in meaning making

The Panoscope 360. An Ethnography of the Appropriation of an Interactive and Immersive Technology in a Science Center

CARONIA, LETIZIA;
2011

Abstract

Developing young people’s interest in sciences and technologies and improving their performances in these domains are crucial issues for most countries. School and curricula activities are of course on the front-stage as they are the primary contexts where young people supposedly acquire scientific knowledge and develop scientific interest and competences. However school is but one learning context: extra-school settings and structured activities should cooperate with schools in developing interest in sciences through their own specific structures, agenda, pedagogies and related conception of learning. The renewed attention in Science Centres’ organization and in their learning efficacy is rooted on the diffused consensus on the need to develop and nurture young people’s interest in sciences and technologies. In Science Centres children and teenagers may approach these universes of knowledge in ways that are specific and different from those at stake in the curricular activities experienced in classroom. Broadly speaking Science Centres are organized according to some local variant of the Deweyian activist theory of education. Often combined with some other co-occurring educational theoretical frameworks (i.e. “learning through participating”), the “learning by doing and by discovering” is the leit motiv of most Science Centres. How these educational models are enacted in a Science Centre, its exhibitory strategies, artefacts, permanent or temporary exhibit? How do creators and curators conceive and construct artefacts and exhibits that do have some intended and specific meaning and yet are located in a context that needs to stay close to the “learning by discovering” educational model? How to cope with both the inner logic and constraints of the context and the rhetorical efficacy of the artefact? How do visitors make sense of the artefacts and contribute in creating its meaning? This chapter reports the methodology and some preliminary results of an exploratory study conducted in the Science Centre of Montreal. The study was aimed to analyse an immersive-interactive technology The Panoscope 360 from its conception to the installation as a part of a larger exhibit of the Montreal Science Centre. The principal goals of the study were to develop a formal model for the analysis of the context and the exhibit; to figure out the phenomenology of the strategies adopted by the visitors to make sense of the artefact; and to evaluate the degree of fluidity of the artefact with respect to the visitors’ strategies of sense making. Results of this study confirm the unavoidable high degree of indeterminacy and openness which characterises a visit at a Science Centre and the making sense of an artefact within such a context. Results also lead to some considerations on how Science Centres cope with their incompatible goals: transmitting a corpus of scientific and technological knowledge and promoting the individual’s sense of agency in meaning making
Creativity and Technology: Social Media, Mobiles and Museums
162
203
L.Caronia; A.H. Caron
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/102154
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