Enhancing Science Learning through Learning Experiences outside School (LEOS)

How to Learn Better during Visits to Museums, Science Centers, and Science Fieldtrips

The authors provide practical, research-informed, guidelines and detailed lesson plans that improve learning of chemical, physical, biological, and Earth & space sciences. The context for learning is the myriad of exciting opportunities provided by informal science institutions such as zoos, museums, space centers and the outdoors. Many such institutions seek to educate the public and inspire budding scientists. Visits outside school help students relate science to everyday life, providing strong motivation to learn science for all abilities. This book shows the key to making such visits effective, is when they are linked to classroom learning using a learning management system, drawing upon modern students’ fascination with digital technologies and mobile devices.

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Sandhya Devi Coll, Ph.D., works for the World Health Organization as a Technical Officer, promoting national health education. She is a passionate and highly experienced secondary school science teacher. Her research focusses on innovative use of digital technologies to enhance learning outside schools.

Richard K. Coll, Ph.D., Sc.Ed.D., is Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Education at The University of the South Pacific. He has authored more than 250 scholarly articles. His research focusses on cooperative and science education.
"The need to enhance the quality of the learning of science that takes place in formal educational contexts (schools) is now recognised world-wide. The value of other contexts as such- for example, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and computer-based access to these- are gradually being identified and their contribution to the learning in formal contexts established. At the same time, the descriptors of the learning that may take place- free-choice, non-formal, informal – are being refined. This plethora of opportunities places great demands on science teachers, who have to address definite learning objectives in particular subjects –normally physics, chemistry, biology, earth science- and with specific groups of students. This volume gives practical advice, based on research, to teachers on how this may best be done. By using that advice, teachers will most effectively prepare students for the multi-model world in which the social media play an increasing part."

- John K. Gilbert, Professor Emeritus, The University of Reading
David F. Treagust
About the Cover
List of Figures and Tables

Part 1: What Research Has to Tell Teachers about Learning Experiences outside School (LEOS)

Chapter 1: Enhancing Science Learning
 Chapter Overview
 Educational Context
 Research in LEOS
 Structure and Organization of the Book
 Assumptions and Terms Used in LEOS Writing and Literature

Chapter 2: Formal, Informal, Non-Formal Learning & Free-Choice Learning
 Chapter Overview
 Theories of Learning
 Behaviorist Theories of Learning
 Social Constructivism
 Sociocultural Theories of Learning
 Types of Learning
 Formal Learning
 Non-Formal Learning
 Informal Learning

Chapter 3: Learning Experiences outside School
 Chapter Overview
 Ways by Which LEOS May Be Facilitated
 Learning Environments and LEOS
 LEOS: Implications for School Science

Chapter 4: The Learner-Integrated Field Trip Inventory (LIFTI)
 Chapter Overview
 Learner-Integrated Field Trip Inventory (LIFTI)

Chapter 5: Integrating Formal, Informal and Non-Formal Learning Using the Digitally-Integrated Fieldtrip Inventory (DIFI)
 Chapter Overview
 Blended Learning
 The Digitally-Integrated Fieldtrip Inventory (DIFI)

Part 2: The Practice of Learning Experiences outside School

Chapter 6: Learning Biological Sciences via Learning Experiences outside School
 Biological Sciences
 Reflections and Conclusions

Chapter 7: Learning Chemical Sciences via Learning Experiences outside School
 Chemical Sciences
 Reflections and Conclusions

Chapter 8: Learning Earth & Space Sciences via Learning Experiences outside School
 Earth & Space Sciences
 Reflections and Conclusions

Chapter 9: Learning Physical Sciences via Learning Experiences outside School
 Physical Sciences
 Reflections and Conclusions

Appendix: The New Zealand Curriculum and Science Curriculum
School science teachers and teacher educators who want to help student’s link science to everyday life, using digital technologies.