Guided School Visits to Natural History Museums in Israel: Teachers’ Roles

January 1st, 2005 | RESEARCH

Museums are favorite and respected resources for learning worldwide. In Israel, there are two relatively large science centers and a number of small natural history museums that are visited by thousands of students. Unlike other countries, studying museum visits in Israel only emerges in the last few years. The study focused on the roles and perceptions of teachers, who visited four natural history museums with their classes. The study followed previous studies that aimed at understanding the role teachers play in class visits to museums (Griffin & Symington, 1997, Science Education, 81, 763-779; Cox-Petersen et al., 2003, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 200-218; Olsen, Cox-Petersen, & McComas, 2001, Journal of Science Teacher Education, 12, 155-173) and emphasized unique phenomena related to the Israeli system. None of the teachers interviewed for this study was an active facilitator, and in many cases the teachers had no idea regarding the field trip program and rationale. Our main findings support previous studies that indicated that teachers are hardly involved in planning and enacting the museum visit. An issue of concern, which came up in this study, is the tendency of Israeli schools to use subcontractor companies that plan and make all the museum arrangements. Unlike the common patterns described in the paper, a case study of unique teacher's function is presented as well.


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Team Members

Revital Tal, Author, Technion
Yael Bamberger, Author, Technion
Orly Morag, Author, Technion


Publication: Science Education
Volume: 89
Number: 6
Page(s): 920

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Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Life science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs