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ERIC Number: EJ989862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Evidence for Family Engagement in Scientific Reasoning at Interactive Animal Exhibits
Kisiel, James; Rowe, Shawn; Vartabedian, Melanie Ani; Kopczak, Charles
Science Education, v96 n6 p1047-1070 Nov 2012
While the opportunity to engage in scientific reasoning has been identified as an important aspect of informal science learning (National Research Council, 2009), most studies have examined this strand of science learning within the context of physics-based science exhibits. Few have examined the presence of such activity in conjunction with live animal exhibits at zoos and aquariums. A video study of 41 families at four touch-tank exhibits, where visitors can observe and interact with live marine species, revealed that families engaged in making claims, challenging claims, and confirming claims as well as other actions associated with scientific reasoning such as applying prior knowledge, making and testing predictions and hypotheses, and constructing arguments. We provide examples of scientific reasoning and examine the role of claims in promoting scientific reasoning. Implications for rethinking learning opportunities and interpretational approaches at touch tanks, as well as examination of the unique characteristics of these and similar exhibits, are discussed. (Contains 4 tables.)
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Oregon