Supporting Informal STEM Learning with Technological Exhibits

An Ecosystemic Approach

Authored by: Leilah Lyons

International Handbook of the Learning Sciences

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138670594
eBook ISBN: 9781315617572
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315617572-23

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Abstract

Informal learning settings have been a primary site for the learning sciences to explore educational designs that exploit the transformative potential of technology. An important lesson from these efforts has been the need to consider the settings as ecosystems, including how the culture and organizations have evolved over time in each setting. This chapter applies an ecosystemic perspective to three examples of a particular subclass of informal learning environments, informal STEM institutions (ISIs), so named because they focus on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics: natural history museums, science centers, and zoos and aquaria. Despite some overlap in STEM content coverage, their different evolutionary histories as institutions have fostered different learning practices.

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