Learning in Physical Science Opportunities at Natural History Dioramas

Book chapter


Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale, Gazey, Rebecca and Gkouskou, E. 2018. Learning in Physical Science Opportunities at Natural History Dioramas. in: Scheersoi, Annette and Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale (ed.) Natural History Dioramas – Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes: Science Educational Aspects Springer, Cham. pp. 171-183
AuthorsTunnicliffe, Sue Dale, Gazey, Rebecca and Gkouskou, E.
EditorsScheersoi, Annette and Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale
Abstract

Observing natural history dioramas provides learners with opportunities to identify various aspects of biological science, captured in the moment of time portrayed in a given diorama, such as behaviour, taxonomy, adaptation to the habitat including anatomical specialisations and camouflage colouring. However, such observations also afford opportunities to observe other science phenomena, such as earth science in the geology of the habitat or the weather portrayed. This chapter focuses on aspects of physical science in action shown in the animals featured, and basic ideas such as shape, size, colours and patterns, as well as basic numeracy for earliest learners. Older primary children can explore flight, and floating and sinking principles, much featured in these natural history dioramas. Basic forces, balance and centre of mass are shown in most dioramas, especially those with terrestrial vertebrates, as well as sound and light. Effective learning strategies involve knowing the foundation knowledge that the children possess. This chapter focuses on the aspects of physical science which may be identified in natural history dioramas and the responses of some primary children to identifying such for themselves in a Natural History Museum in the south of England. The dioramas focus on African and Indian animals and their natural environments. Demographics of the schools, where applicable, were noted and relevant permissions obtained. Transcripts of the dialogues in workshops and at the dioramas were collected and analysed through a read-re-read iterative process through which categories of comments emerged. Simple counts were made of responses. These workshops led to children being able to identify the basic physics concepts in action.

Book titleNatural History Dioramas – Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes: Science Educational Aspects
Page range171-183
Year2018
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Publication dates
Online15 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Nov 2018
ISBN978-3-030-00174-2
978-3-030-00175-9
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/978-3-030-00175-9_12
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00175-9_12
Additional information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

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