«Can I touch?» Analysis of an educational proposal of the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona for children 2 to 6 years old
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Supervisor: Dr. Conxita Márquez
This research analyses the education proposal “Can I Touch?, which the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona offers to school groups for students with ages between 2 to 6 years old. The intention is to identify its value and contribution as a positive and stimulating experience for learning science and also to suggest useful ideas to create new learning proposals for the scientific education of children.
The text begins by emphasizing the basic principles which the proposal is oriented to: the respect shown towards the child, the approach towards knowledge by taking into account its complexity, the process of learning as means of changing the way in which the world is interpreted or the relevance of the institution’s heritage which is the reference of this particular education proposal. Finally, the functioning and organization of the proposal is justified by the education principles presented above.
This research is focused upon the observation of children and upon the viewpoints of both teachers and museum educators. From the perspective of this qualitative methodology, the research seeks to reach conclusions in two directions. On the one hand, some evidence has been identified which shows the positive experience of children resulting from being in a comfortable and stimulating space. On the other hand, the results obtained point towards the fact that the value of the scientific knowledge of the proposal is based on offering children direct contact with the natural material, on encouraging the children to express their ideas and on providing various stimuli to create new itineraries of knowledge which will require the collaboration of other contexts —such as the school— so that these learning processes may be developed further.
Finally, some factors inherent in the proposal are identified, particularly those that favor the global value of the proposal by providing positive learning experiences of science: the free-choice approach, the quality of the material (with a special emphasis upon the natural material), the characteristics of the microproposals, and the watchful, receptive and respectful role of the adult..
Publications related to the Thesis (further publications in preparation)
Pedreira, M. (2015). Niu de ciència, espacio de educación científica para niños. Museologia e Patrimônio, 8(1), 9-29.
Pedreira, M., & Márquez, C. (2015). Puc tocar? análisis de una propuesta educativa 0-6 en un museo de ciencia. Revista de Museología, 64.
Pedreira, M. & Márquez, C. (2016). Espacios generadores de conocimiento. Cuadernos de Pedagogía, 466, 44-49.
Thesis full reference
Pedreira, M. (2016). «Can I touch?» Analysis of an educational proposal of the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona for children 2 to 6 years old. Doctoral thesis available http://hdl.handle.net/10803/386493
Montserrat Pedreira Álvarez
Department of Childhood Education. Faculty of Social Sciences of Manresa
UVic- Universitat Central of Catalonia. Spain.
Av.Universitària, 4-6. 08242 Manresa / Tel +34 93 877 41 79