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Learning in Physical Science Opportunities at Natural History Dioramas

Tunnicliffe, SD; Gazey, R; Gkouskou, E; (2018) Learning in Physical Science Opportunities at Natural History Dioramas. In: Scheersoi, A and Tunnicliffe, SD, (eds.) Natural History Dioramas – Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes: Science Educational Aspects. (pp. 171-183). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

Observing natural history dioramas provides learners with opportunities to identify various aspects of biological science, captured in the moment of time portrayed in a given diorama, such as behaviour, taxonomy, adaptation to the habitat including anatomical specialisations and camouflage colouring. However, such observations also afford opportunities to observe other science phenomena, such as earth science in the geology of the habitat or the weather portrayed. This chapter focuses on aspects of physical science in action shown in the animals featured, and basic ideas such as shape, size, colours and patterns, as well as basic numeracy for earliest learners. Older primary children can explore flight, and floating and sinking principles, much featured in these natural history dioramas. Basic forces, balance and centre of mass are shown in most dioramas, especially those with terrestrial vertebrates, as well as sound and light. Effective learning strategies involve knowing the foundation knowledge that the children possess. This chapter focuses on the aspects of physical science which may be identified in natural history dioramas and the responses of some primary children to identifying such for themselves in a Natural History Museum in the south of England. The dioramas focus on African and Indian animals and their natural environments. Demographics of the schools, where applicable, were noted and relevant permissions obtained. Transcripts of the dialogues in workshops and at the dioramas were collected and analysed through a read-re-read iterative process through which categories of comments emerged. Simple counts were made of responses. These workshops led to children being able to identify the basic physics concepts in action.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Learning in Physical Science Opportunities at Natural History Dioramas
ISBN-13: 978-3-030-00174-2
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00175-9_12
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00175-9_12
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Primary science, Numeracy, Forces, Animals
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053050
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