Towards a Unified Model of Education and Entertainment in Science and Technology Centres

  • J. K. Gilbert
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 14)


McManus (1992) described the evolution of museums concerned with science and technology as having passed through three ‘generations’ over the last several centuries. The most recent of these has focused on the provision of experiences and the representation of ideas, rather than the presentation of objects, through the medium of ‘interactive exhibits’. These involve a visitor, either singly or with others, taking some action on the interactive exhibit in response to simple instructions that are usually presented in an adjacent text panel. The response produced often leads to a train of additional actions and responses. The phrase ‘Science and Technology Centre’ has come to mean a collection of interactive exhibits. The great success of such centres with the public (Thomas, 1994) is leading to a breakdown of distinctions between them and the notion of ‘museum: object-based displays are being mixed with interactive exhibits which are relevant to their theme.


Black Hole Causal Explanation Teaching Model Science Centre Organisational Aspect 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

9. References

  1. Bames, B. (1982). The science-technology relationship: a model and a query. Social Studies in Science (12) 166–172.Google Scholar
  2. Gilbert, J.K., Boulter, C.,& Elmer, R. (2000). Positioning models in science education and in design and technology education. In J.K.Gilbert and C.J.Boulter (Eds.), Developing Models in Science Education. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gilbert, J.K., Boulter, C.J. & Rutherford, M. (1998). Models in Explanations, Part 1: Horses for Courses. International Journal of Science Education, 20 (1), 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gilbert, J.K., Stocklmayer, S. & Garnett, R. (1999). Mental modelling in science and technology centres: what are visitors really doing? In S. Stocklmayer & T. Hardy (Eds), Learning Science in Informal Contexts. Canberra, Australia: Questacon, 7–15.Google Scholar
  5. Gilbert, J.K. & Watts, D.M. (1983). Concepts, misconceptions, and alternative conceptions: changing perspectives in science education. Studies in Science Education, (10) 61–98.Google Scholar
  6. Kelly, G. (1963). A Theory of Personality: the Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  7. Lambert, H. & Rose, H. (1998). Disembodied knowledge?: Making sense of medical science, in A. Irwin and B. Wynne (Eds.), Misunderstanding Science?: The Public Reconstruction of Science and Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 65–83.Google Scholar
  8. Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics and Culture in Everyday Life. New York: Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McManus, P. (1992). Topics in museums and science education. Studies in Science Education, (20) 157–182.Google Scholar
  10. Millar, R. (1996). Towards a science curriculum for public understanding of science. School Science Review, 77 (280), 7–18.Google Scholar
  11. Pacey, A. (1983). The Culture of Technology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Shortland, M. (1987). No business like show business. Nature (Lond), (328) 213–214.Google Scholar
  13. Stevenson, J. (1991). The long-term impact of interactive exhibits. International Journal of Science Education, (13) 521–531.Google Scholar
  14. Thomas, G.(1994). The age of interaction. Museums Journal, 94 (5), 33–34.Google Scholar
  15. Thomas, G., & Durant, J. (1987). Why should we promote the public understanding of science. Science Literacy Papers, (1) 1–14.Google Scholar
  16. Turney, J. (1996). Public understanding of Science. Lancet, (347) 1087–1090.Google Scholar
  17. Tyson, L., Venville, G., Harrison, A., Treagust, D. (1997). A multidimensional framework for integrating conceptual change events in the classroom. Science Education, 81(4), 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wynne, B. (1993). Public uptake of science: a case for institutional reflexivity. Public Understanding of Science, 2, (4), 321–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. Gilbert
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of ReadingUK

Personalised recommendations