The Elementary School Journal
Science education reform documents call for science to be taught in the manner that students learn best, by conducting hands-on, engaging investigations using simple everyday materials. Often overlooked in the redesign of science education, informal science learning environments such as science centers, museums, and zoos provide students with captivating science experiences that can be related closely to curricular objectives. In this article I examine a cross-section of craft knowledge and research-based literature on science learning beyond the classroom, describe informal science education programs, and discuss implications for enhanced science teaching. The article focuses on the importance of informal science learning experiences, in the context of a variety of out-of-school science environments, for children and for in-service and preservice teachers. Informal science education environments provide students with unique, engaging science learning opportunities and classroom teachers with a wealth of science teaching resources. A model for enhanced school/informal science education and for school-level policy change is proposed.
Ramey-Gassert, Linda, "Learning Science beyond the Classroom" (1997). Special Topics, General. 78.