Effectiveness of Indian science centres as learning environments: A study of educational objectives in the design of museum experiences.
thesisposted on 2015-11-19, 09:09 authored by Raj Vardhan. Kaushik
This study intends to evaluate Indian science centres and focuses on factors which characterise them as effective educational environments. In order to explore the science centre setting, this study follows the approach of methodological appropriateness - that is, employing both quantitative and qualitative research methods according to the purpose and necessity. Due to the phenomenal importance of the early years in our lives, this study focuses on schools students and out-of-school children. The study mainly addresses the question who - male versus female students and junior versus senior students - really benefit out of a science centre visit and what happens to their impact in the longer term. This study intends to measure the impact of a visit to the National Science Centre, Delhi on students' affective domain: three parameters - namely, attitudes to science, attitudes to science centres, and continuing motivation in science - have been chosen for their potential significance in the educational arena. Data - through pre-visit, post-visit (within three days of the visit) and later-visit (about six month after the visit) questionnaires - has been collected in the Summer of 1994. The data has been analysed using parametric statistical tests - mainly the tests known as the Analyses of Variance (ANOVA). The supporting and qualifying data has been gathered by unobtrusively observing 50 randomly selected students in the galleries and by interviewing teachers and students. The findings indicate that all students gain in their short-term attitudes to science and science centres as a result of their visitation. But, the gain is found to decay in the longer term, mainly in the case of girls and junior students. In reference to the poor and the rural students, the reach of science centres is found to be extremely miserable. To ameliorate the situation, much has to be done. To this end, this study makes recommendations for a fine synthesis of people's needs and aspirations, social and cultural knowledge, the objectives of museums, and the highly effective domains of exhibit development.
Date of award1996-01-01
Author affiliationMuseum Studies
Awarding institutionUniversity of Leicester