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Different images of science - a study of how science is constituted in exhibitions
Malmö högskola, Lärarutbildningen (LUT), Natur-miljö-samhälle (NMS).ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7537-8110
2008 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [sv]

Inom science och technology centre (STC)-rörelsen finns det uttalade mål och ambitioner att öka allmänhetens intresse och förståelse för naturvetenskap. Samtidigt ifrågasätter många forskare de val som görs vad gäller utställningarnas innehåll och hävdar att det är vanligt att en alltför produktorienterad syn på naturvetenskap presenteras. Men vilka bilder och aspekter av naturvetenskap möter besökarna på STCs? Hur resonerar personalen på STCs kring det naturvetenskapliga innehållet i utställningar? Vilka idéer kring besökarnas lärnade uttrycker personal på STCs och vilka konsekvenser får det då nya utställningar planeras och konstrueras? Och på vilka sätt påverkar sponsorer utställningarnas innehåll och design? Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka vilka antaganden och faktorer som påverkar utställningars slutliga innehåll och utformning. Detta syfte belyses från olika perspektiv och presenteras i fyra olika artiklar samt i olika kapitel i kappan. I en första fas tillfrågades personal på nordiska STCs att överväga i vilken utsträckning de tyckte att de visade olika aspekter av naturvetenskap. Resultaten visar att utställningarna tenderar att visa en oproblematisk och endimensionell bild av naturvetenskap som riskerar att endast fokusera nyttan av naturvetenskap. För att undersöka vilka faktorer och antaganden som påverkar hur naturvetenskap konstitueras, innefattade en andra fas intervjuer av 17 personer som arbetar med att planera och ta fram nya utställningar. Vidare omfattade en tredje fas av datainsamling deltagande observation och fokusgruppsintervju. Resultaten indikerar att personalens förståelse kring ”the nature of science” eller naturvetenskapens natur inte har någon avgörande betydelse för vilka aspekter av naturvetenskap man väljer att visa. När det gäller personalens föreställningar om besökarnas lärande verkar detta kunna påverka deras val av naturvetenskapliga aspekter. Resultaten implicerar att personalen tenderar att använda endast en erfarenhetsbaserad ansats till besökarnas lärande och använder sig inte av kunskaper från fältet om lärande och informella miljöer eller naturvetenskaplig didaktik. Vidare visar resultaten att sponsorer kan påverka utställningars innehåll och utformning både direkt och indirekt. Det betyder att sponsorer kan ha explicita krav vad gäller innehållet, men också att personalen resonerar kring vad de tror att sponsorerna ska tycka när de planerar och skapar nya utställningar.

Abstract [en]

Within the science and technology centre (STC) movement there exists explicit aims and ambitions to enhance visitors’ interest in and knowledge about science. Meanwhile, several researches question the choice of the scientific content in exhibitions when arguing that a too unproblematic view of science commonly is presented. But what images and aspects of science are visitors actually confronted with at STCs? How do staff members at STCs consider the scientific content and how do they choose what aspects of science to display in exhibitions? What ideas about visitors’ learning do staff members express and what consequences follow these when planning and constructing new exhibitions? And in what ways do sponsors affect the content and the design of exhibitions? The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what assumptions and factors affect the final content and design of exhibitions. This question is elucidated and explored from different perspectives, presented in four articles as well as in the different sections in this thesis. In a first phase, staff members at Nordic STCs were asked to consider to what extent they believe they display different aspects of science. The results suggest that the most common image was "the usefulness of science" which tends to display science in an unproblematic and single-dimensioned way. In order to explore what underlying assumptions and factors which affect how science is constituted, a second phase involved interviewing17 staff members who worked with planning and constructing new exhibitions. Furthermore, a third phase of the data collection comprised participant observation and a focus group interview. The results indicated that staff members’ ideas about the nature of science do not seem to have a decisive effect on what scientific aspects they choose to display in exhibitions. When it comes to staff members’ ideas about visitors’ learning, this seems to influence their choices of scientific aspects. The results imply that staff members tend to use only an experience-based approach to learning and do not consider what is known from the field of learning and informal settings and science education. Furthermore, the results suggest that sponsors may affect the final content and design of exhibitions both directly and indirectly. This means that sponsors may have explicit demands concerning the content, but also that staff members consider what they believe are views of the sponsors when planning and constructing new exhibitions.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Malmö högskola, 2008.
Serie
Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences: Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1651-4513 ; 39Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 15
Emneord [en]
informal learning, museums, science centres, staff members
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-7575Lokal ID: 6011ISBN: 978-91-977100-1-5 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-7575DiVA, id: diva2:1404509
Merknad

Paper II in dissertation as accepted manuscript.

Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-02-28 Laget: 2020-02-28 Sist oppdatert: 2024-03-05bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Different Images of Science at Nordic Science Centres
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Different Images of Science at Nordic Science Centres
2007 (engelsk)Inngår i: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 29, nr 10, s. 1229-1244Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

Science centres aim to present science in ways that will attract visitors and enhance public interest in, and knowledge of, science. But what images and different aspects of science are visitors confronted with at Nordic science centres? This study aims to explore the different aspects of science that are displayed and the ways in which these aspects constitute different images of science. In this study, staff members who work with the planning and creation of new exhibitions were asked to answer a web-based questionnaire, identifying the extent to which different aspects of science were displayed in their latest exhibition. They were also asked to voice their opinions on what, and to what extent, they would like to display different aspects in future exhibitions. This study shows that exhibitions today, in particular, choose to display the wonders of science, presenting science in a product-oriented and unproblematic way. The study also reveals a great discrepancy between what staff members display at their latest exhibitions and what they want to display in future exhibitions. They express a will to emphasise aspects of science on the basis of a societal and cultural perspective. This means that controversial issues, values in society, non-western science, and scientific processes constitute important components for future exhibitions.

Emneord
Science centre, Informal setting, Exhibition, Nature of science
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-3255 (URN)10.1080/09500690600969848 (DOI)000247456700003 ()2-s2.0-34447302859 (Scopus ID)5092 (Lokal ID)5092 (Arkivnummer)5092 (OAI)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-02-28 Laget: 2020-02-28 Sist oppdatert: 2024-02-05bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Enhancing Visitors’ Interest in Science – A Possibility or a Paradox?: A Study of what Scientific Content Staff Members Choose to Display
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Enhancing Visitors’ Interest in Science – A Possibility or a Paradox?: A Study of what Scientific Content Staff Members Choose to Display
2009 (engelsk)Inngår i: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 39, s. 197-213Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the enterprise of science and technology centres there exists explicit aims and ambitions to enhance visitors’ interest in and knowledge about science. Meanwhile, several researchers question the choice of the scientific content in exhibitions when arguing that a too unproblematic view of science commonly is presented. But how do staff members consider what scientific content to include and how this content can be organised in exhibitions? The results from interviews of staff members, responsible for planning and creating new exhibitions, suggest that they consider the scientific content of their exhibitions to a high extent in terms of organizational matters. This means that the staff members tend to not consider discussions about what aspects of science to include or exclude. Further on, the results imply that the relation between science and society risk being implicit to the visitors, whereas the aspect of scientific processes tend to be overlooked when constructing new exhibitions. The staff members express an anxiety in displaying scientific uncertainties or different models of explanations when arguing that this risks confusing the visitors. However, these aspects of science are, in the field of science education, considered crucial in order to create curiosity and interest in science. Does this mean that science and technology centres, through their eagerness to enhance young visitors’ scientific literacy, risk contributing to their detachment from or unconcern for scientific issues? 

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Springer, 2009
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-37572 (URN)10.1007/s11165-008-9080-2 (DOI)000263525500003 ()2-s2.0-60949113669 (Scopus ID)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-12-14 Laget: 2020-12-14 Sist oppdatert: 2024-02-05bibliografisk kontrollert
3. Staff members’ ideas about visitors’ learning at science and technology centers
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Staff members’ ideas about visitors’ learning at science and technology centers
2009 (engelsk)Inngår i: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 31, nr 1, s. 129-146Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates staff members’ ideas and assumptions about visitors’ learning at science and technology centres. It also aims to explore in what ways their reasoning intersect with existing theories about learning within the field of science and technology centre research. The results of the study reveal that the staff members allude to learning processes differently by distinguishing organized from non-organized learning, theoretical learning from practical hands-on learning, and serious from non-serious learning. According to most of the staff members, these also conclude with different learning outcomes. Further, a majority of the staff members state that they do not have any scientific knowledge about learning despite the fact that they work with the construction of new exhibitions. When discussing visitors’ learning, the staff members instead refer to personal experiences, professional experiences, professional education, and external references. When it comes to how they reason about the natural scientific content, nearly all express that they use references from the natural science community and researchers’ knowledge. The article moreover discusses in what ways a socio-cultural approach may be used in order to understand how learning arises when visitors interact with exhibits.

Emneord
museums and science centres, learning
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-2759 (URN)10.1080/09500690701649588 (DOI)000261695700006 ()2-s2.0-57849126675 (Scopus ID)8720 (Lokal ID)8720 (Arkivnummer)8720 (OAI)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-02-28 Laget: 2020-02-28 Sist oppdatert: 2024-02-05bibliografisk kontrollert
4. Economic Interests and Science Exhibitions: A Study of how Sponsors May Affect Exhibition Content
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Economic Interests and Science Exhibitions: A Study of how Sponsors May Affect Exhibition Content
2008 (engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-37571 (URN)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-12-14 Laget: 2020-12-14 Sist oppdatert: 2022-04-26bibliografisk kontrollert

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