An investigation on prospective biology teachers’ cognitive schemata related with the concept of “Science Center”. Paper presented in The ICEMST

Mirici S. , Köseoğlu F., Pirpiroğlu İ.

International Conference on Education in Mathematics, Science & Technology (ICEMST), Muğla, Turkey, 19 - 22 May 2016, pp.21

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Muğla
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.21


Not only in Turkey but on an international scale there has been a dramatic increase in the negative attitude of students towards science and technology (OECD, 2006). Since early 2000’s, there has been a growing interest in the scientific researches on out-of-school learning environments such as science centers in order to improve both science-society interaction and the quality of education at schools. School field trip to such learning environments have positive influence on students’ attitude, self-awareness, selfconfidence, self-efficacy, and personal efficiency; and help them develop their personal and social skills such as communication and creativity. Students’ participation in the classroom activities and their positive attitude towards science increase when teachers associate curriculum achievements with the activities presented in the out-of-school learning environments such as science museums and science centers. In this study, conducted as part of the “BİLMER Project” with code number 114K646 and funded by TUBITAK 1001 program, it was aimed to examine prospective Biology teachers’ cognitive schemata about science centers as informal learning environments. The Word Association Test was used as the data collection tool. The study group comprised students from 1st to 5th class in the Biology Teaching Department of a university in Ankara. These prospective teachers were invited to write down, in a certain period of time, the words which were reminded by the key terms, Informal Learning Environments, Science Center, Science Museum, and Science Communication. The data obtained were classified in a frequency table in accordance with the responses of the prospective teachers about the key terms. Concept maps were created out of the data collected in order to illustrate their cognitive schemata. In this way their cognitive schemata was determined through examining whether they wrote Science Center under Informal Learning Environment; Learning-Teaching-Edutainment, Science Show, Science Exhibition, and Science Workshop under Science Center; History of Science and Nature of Science under Science Museum and Scientist, Society, Media, Popular Science, and Science-Technology Policy under Science Communication. Keywords: Informal learning environments, Science center, Prospective biology teachers, Word association, Cognitive schemata