New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Evaluation of Informal Science Teaching Experience at Science Museum for Preservice Science Teachers

Wahyu Setioko, The Ohio State University (Indonesia)

Karen E. Irving, The Ohio State University (United States)


This study investigated how an informal science teaching experience at a science museum changes preservice science teachers’ communication skills in teaching science. Such skills are important to support teachers’ pedagogy, classroom management and positive learning environments in science classrooms. Video recordings, field observations, individual interviews, and focus group discussions were conducted to document changes of the teachers’ performances when presenting science to visitors as well as to investigate elements of the experience that contributed to these changes and teachers’ learning. Communication skills’ analysis focused on verbal language dimensions and teaching style dimensions. Findings showed that a majority of the teachers showed improvements in their communication skills. The experience influenced the teachers to provide contextual examples in explaining science, to communicate more effectively using fewer filler words, to adjust the amount of technical words based on visitors’ characteristics, to engage visitors with more constructive open-ended questions and more elaborative feedback, and to use more Initiation-Response-Follow up (IRF) patterns at the end of the experience. The dynamic nature of their interactions with museum visitors, the informal learning environment, and support from museum educators contributed the most to the teachers’ growth. They also reported gains in science content knowledge and self-efficacy. Results of this study are useful to design effective collaborations between university and science museums for advancing science teacher education.


[1]    Wubbels, T., & Levy, J. “Do you know what you look like?” Interpersonal relationships in education, London, Falmer Press, 1993
[2] Saunders, S. & Mill, M.A. “The knowledge of communication skills of secondary graduate student teachers and their understanding of the relationship between communication skills and teaching”,  NZARE / AARE Conference Paper, Melbourne, Conference Paper Number MIL99660, 1999.
[3] She, H., & Fisher, D. “The development of a questionnaire to describe science teacher communication behavior in Taiwan and Australia”, Science Education, 84, 2000, 706-726
[4] Bruner, J. “The culture of education”, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1996
[5] Anderson, D., Lawson, B., & Mayer‐Smith, J. “Investigating the impact of a practicum experience in an aquarium on pre‐service teachers”, Teaching Education, 17(4), 2006, 341-353
[6] Metz, D. “Field based learning in science: Animating a museum experience”. Teaching Education, 16(2), 2005, 165–173
[7] Gupta, P., & Adams, J. “Museum-University partnerships for pre-service science education”. In B. Fraser, K. Tobin, & C. McRobbie (Eds.), Second international handbook of science education, New York, Springer, 2012, 1146–1161
[8] Nystrand, M. “Opening Dialogue: Understanding the Dynamics of Language and Learning in the English Classroom”, Language and Literacy Series, New York, Teachers College Press, 1997, 75-88.


Back to the list

Reserved area

Media Partners:

Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2023 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy