Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 29–43 | Cite as

Examining Teacher Choices for Science Museum Worksheets

  • James F. Kisiel
Original Article

Preservice and inservice teachers were asked to examine 2 considerably different museum-based worksheets and to choose which, if any, they might use if they were conducting a science field trip for upper elementary or middle school students. The more detailed, survey-oriented worksheet was chosen more frequently than the open-ended, concept-oriented worksheet. Although different rationales were given for these preferences, findings suggest that teaching experience was not strongly related to worksheet choice. Furthermore, while particular worksheet characteristics were valued by some teachers, others perceived these same characteristics as a drawback. The study suggests that teacher perspectives toward museum visits are quite complex and that these viewpoints must be taken into account when looking to improve learning experiences during school field trips.


Preservice Teacher Field Trip Natural History Museum Inservice Teacher Informal Setting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anderson, D., & Lucas, K. B. (1997). The effectiveness of orienting students to the physical features of a science museum prior to visitation. Research in Science Education, 27, 485–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, D., & Zhang, Z. (2003). Teacher perceptions of field-trip planning and implementation. Visitor Studies Today, 6(3), 6–11.Google Scholar
  3. Bitgood, S. (1994). What do we know about school field trips? In M. Borun, S. Grinell, P. McNamara, & B. Serrell (Eds.), What research says about learning in science museums (Vol. 2, pp. 12–16). Washington, DC: Association of Science–Technology Centers.Google Scholar
  4. Delaney, A. A. (1967). An experimental investigation of the effectiveness of the teacher's introduction in implementing a science field trip. Science Education, 51, 474–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Falk, J. H. (1983). Field trips: A look at environmental effects on learning. Journal of Biological Education, 17, 137–141.Google Scholar
  6. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The museum experience. Washington, DC: Whalesback Books.Google Scholar
  7. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1997). School field trips: Assessing their long-term impact. Curator, 40, 211–218.Google Scholar
  8. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (2000). Learning from museums: Visitor experiences and the making of meaning. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  9. Farmer, A. J., & Wott, J. A. (1995). Field trips and follow-up activities: Fourth graders in a public garden. Journal of Environmental Education, 27, 33–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Flexer, B. K., & Borun, M. (1984). The impact of a class visit to a participatory science museum exhibit and a classroom science lesson. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21, 863–873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fry, H. (1987). Worksheets as museum learning devices. Museums Journal, 86, 219–225.Google Scholar
  12. Gottfried, J. (1980). Do children learn on fieldtrips? Curator, 23, 165–174.Google Scholar
  13. Griffin, J. (1994). Learning to learn in informal science settings. Research in Science Education, 24, 121–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Griffin, J., & Symington, D. (1997). Moving from task-oriented to learning oriented strategies on school excursions to museums. Science Education, 81, 763–779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kisiel, J. (2003a). Revealing teacher agendas: An examination of teacher motivations and strategies for conducting museum fieldtrips. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  16. Kisiel, J. (2003b). Teachers, museums and worksheets: A closer look at a learning experience. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 14(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kisiel, J. (2005). Understanding elementary teacher motivations for science fieldtrips. Science Education, 89, 936–955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koran, J. J., Lehman, J. R., Shafer, L. D., & Koran, M. L. (1983). The relative effects of pre- and postattention directing devices on learning from a “walk-through” museum exhibit. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 341–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lucas, A. M. (1983). Scientific literacy and informal learning. Studies in Science Education, 10, 1–36.Google Scholar
  20. McManus, P. M. (1985). Worksheet-induced behavior in the British Museum. Journal of Biological Education, 19, 237–242.Google Scholar
  21. Orion, N., & Hofstein, A. (1994). Factors that influence learning during a scientific field trip in a natural environment. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31, 1097–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Price, S., & Hein, G. (1991). More than a field trip: Science programmes for elementary school groups at museums. International Journal of Science Education, 13, 505–519.Google Scholar
  23. Ramey-Gassert, L., Walberg, H. J., III, & Walberg, H. J. (1994). Reexamining connections: Museums as science learning environments. Science Education, 78, 345–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rennie, L., & McClafferty, T. (1995). Using visits to interactive science and technology centers, museums, aquaria, and zoos to promote learning in science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 6, 175–185.Google Scholar
  25. Schauble, L., Beane, D. B., Coates, G. D., Martin, L. M. W., & Sterling, P. V. (1996). Outside the classroom walls: Learning in informal environments. In L. Schauble & R. Glaser (Eds.), Innovations in learning: New environments for education (pp. 5–24). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Screven, C. G. (1986). Exhibitions and information centers: Some principles and approaches. Curator, 29, 109–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tuckey, C. (1992). Schoolchildren's reactions to an interactive science center. Curator, 35, 28–38.Google Scholar
  28. Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 54, 143–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wellington, J. (1990). Formal and informal learning in science: The role of the interactive science centres. Physics Education, 25, 247–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wolins, I. S., Jensen, N., & Ulzheimer, R. (1992). Children's memories of museum field trips: A qualitative study. Journal of Museum Education, 17(2), 17–27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science EducationCalifornia State University LBLong BeachUSA

Personalised recommendations