Guided school visits to a research center: Perspectives from teachers and staff
Keywords:non-formal science education, out-of-school contexts, research centers, school visits
This study investigates (i) the educational program offered by one of the largest research centers in Greece and (ii) the teachers’ and staff’s perspectives for the school visits. Data came from interviews of teachers, staff of the research center and observation of the school visits. Though the majority of the teachers were satisfied of the visit, and they perceived the trip as a unique experience for their students, it was mostly inconsistent with recommendations of informal science teaching literature, as science teachers perceived the visit as an isolated one-day occurrence with no connection to the curriculum and no intention of planning any pre- or post-visit activities. This fact, combined with the demonstrated gap between teachers’ and staff’s perspectives, gave little or no learning orientation to the visits. Finally, this study assists in developing guidelines that would serve both teachers and research centers in collaborating together for better school trips.
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