Science learning at the zoo : evaluating children's developing understanding of animals and their habitats
Wagoner, Brady and Jensen, Eric. (2010) Science learning at the zoo : evaluating children's developing understanding of animals and their habitats. Psychology & Society, Vol.3 (No.1). pp. 65-76. ISSN 2041-5893Full text not available from this repository.
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Zoos attract hundreds of millions of visitors every year worldwide – many of them children. In the UK, hundreds of thousands of school children visit zoos every year. Thus, the zoo is a key institution for publics engaging with live animals and environmental education. However, zoos have recently come under ethical criticism linked to the claim that they have negligible or even negative educational impact. While there is some evidence of positive outcomes for adult zoo visitors, there is very little prior research available to answer such criticisms when it comes to children. To address these issues, a study was conducted using a mixed methods survey, which included a key visual component designed to track changes in children’s representations of animals over the course of a school visit to the zoo. Specifically, the study investigated the development of new ideas about animals, habitats and the zoo amongst a sample of pupils attending ZSL London Zoo. Results indicate the potential of educational presentations based around zoo visits, for enabling conceptual transformations relating to environmental science. At the same time, the research highlights the vital role of existing cultural representations of different animals and habitats which are confronted by the new ideas introduced during educational visits to the zoo.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Psychology & Society|
|Publisher:||University of Cambridge, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology|
|Number of Pages:||12|
|Page Range:||pp. 65-76|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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