Vasconcelos, Clara Ferreira, Rosa Antónia Calheiros, Cristina Cardoso, Alexandra Mota, Belmira Ribeiro, Tiago
science teaching Science learning Museum education Primary education Secundary education Natural Sciences education Didactics of Experimental Sciences Bilingual schools Teacher Training Enseñanza de las ciencias Aprendizaje de la ciencia Educación en el museo Educación Primaria Educación Secundaria Didáctica de las ciencias experimentales Escuelas bilingües Educación de las ciencias naturales Formación profesorado
This out-of the classroom experience has been carried out in two bilingual schools in Asturias, Spain, with the aim of using museums and other non-formal spaces as contexts for the teaching of Science. The project has been implemented in two primary schools and around 400 hundred pupils have taken part on it since 2014. The project was lead and designed from the Education Sciences Department at University of Oviedo and several primary teachers from the mentioned schools were involved. The idea of the project was proposed to these primary teachers and the activities were put into practice by both, university teachers and primary teachers. The main theme of the project is the use of art master pieces (paintings and sculptures) and cultural heritage spaces to promote oral communication in English as a second language by integrating contents from the area of Natural Science principally. Bearing in mind that the project pretends to promote experiential learning and outdoor learning, the educational contexts are mainly focused on museum spaces and streets, although natural spaces around the museums such as gardens and parks have been used with the same purpose. The idea of using outdoor non-formal spaces to improve oral communication in English and contents from different areas come from previous experiences carried out in the Teacher Training and Education Faculty at University of Oviedo. In the case of “Science in the Museum”, the main objective of the project, is to learn contents in English from the Natural Science area, as we have already said, using heritage elements as a resource or as a context. Besides, the project pretends to improve students´ and teachers´ motivation, to develop a taste for art and heritage, and to know the local area surroundings. It could be said that the outdoor learning tradition of taking students out of the school to the natural environment has been exported to the context of museums and local heritage spaces. The research of the project has been assessed through two different tools: an on-line questionnaire for the pupils and two discussion groups (one for the school teachers involved and a second one for university experts). The on-line students´ questionnaires were filled in at the schools computer classrooms. The two discussion groups were developed at the faculty and they were conducted, in both cases, by the author of this communication. The objective of the first group was to know primary teachers perceptions about the experience and their opinions about four categories of analysis: students´ and teachers´ motivation; the contexts; the activities; and oral communication in the English language. The second discussion group was made up of university experts belonging to different areas of education with the objective of evaluate and validate the proposal. The results obtained in the experience have been considered very positive by the teachers and experts involved in it. For this reason “Science in the museum” has been recognised as an innovative educational experience for primary and secondary school levels.