Contextual model of learning in science museums – learning mathematics in Ponto UFMG Itinerant Museum

Contextual model of learning in science museums – learning mathematics in Ponto UFMG Itinerant Museum

Author: Lara Poenaru – Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Pará, Brazil

Tania Margarida Lima Costa – Brazil, UFMG

Science museums have consolidated themselves as informal places of Science communication. Owing to its social role and its commitment with scientific knowledge, it is necessary to understand the strategies those museums, especially Ponto UFMG Itinerant Museum, use, aiming to reach the learning process mediated by scientific and cultural artifacts that compose the museum exhibit. According with Falk & Dierking, the motivational and emotional cues are extremely relevant to the construction of “new” knowledge. Under that perspective, the Museum has prepared several activities displayed on its exhibits using the theme Mathematics, as 2017 was the national year of mathematics in Brazil.

Taking into consideration that only 11% of the students in Brazil showed the expected proficiency in this signature when finishing high school, we hope to understand how the interactive activities proposed by the museum can motivate the visitors in relating mathematics concepts with daily activities, therefore influencing the learning.

In the hope of answering the central questions of this research, it was held an investigative work with 15 primary school students, with ages between 10 and 12 years old that presented learning disability. For two months, several activities and scientific interventions were performed in the Museum. It was analyzed, under the perspective of contextual learning model (Falk & Dierking, 2000), the emotional cues and specific skills involved in the interaction between the research participants and the scientific and cultural artifacts, the intrinsic motivations that permeate the sociocultural space-time and the self-notion over the learning process.

Our analysis showed the importance of the motivational cues during the educational processes held in not-formal spaces of learning. It was noticed an improvement in the academic performance qualitatively detected as related by the teachers, and quantitatively as proved by the scores in the school tests.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Teaching science communication