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ERIC Number: EJ912364
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0269-2465
Discovering a Discovery Centre
McCullagh, John; Stewart, James; Greenwood, Julian
Primary Science Review, n99 p33-36 Sep-Oct 2007
There has recently been a growth in the popularity of "science centres" and this development provides an excellent opportunity to support the primary science curriculum. Their use is therefore well worth including within initial teacher education courses. Hence, undergraduate student teachers at Stranmillis University College Belfast may now follow a BEd final-year option on "Science Centres and the Primary Curriculum." The module explores how resources outside the classroom can enhance the learning experience of children, whilst addressing the theoretical and practical issues associated with science teaching in an informal educational setting. Students are required to consider how a trip to the local discovery centre in Belfast, W5 (WhoWhatWhereWhenWhy), could be organised so as to maximise the potential learning opportunities before, during, and after a visit. Outside the formal school system, the W5 discovery centre is one of the main providers of science education in Northern Ireland. Through its interactive exhibits and extensive range of curriculum-related workshops, W5 encourages children to explore their potential and to learn in their own style. It offers a safe environment where children are encouraged to get their hands on exhibits and to spend time with the resources that suit their individual learning styles and interests. The undergraduate module provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase W5's extensive range of resources and encourages future teachers to consider how these experiences could be integrated into the primary science curriculum. In this article, the authors explore what student teachers might learn from the exploration of a science centre.
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Belfast)