Learning beyond the classroom: Implications for school science

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The second international handbook of science education, 2012, 1, pp. 1123 - 1134
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Young people learn outside school, beyond the classroom. Much of the science that they learn comes from relatively informal experiences. The ideas and thinking that derive from daily experiences, conversations, curiosity, watching and listening are difficult to trace. However, we are fortunate that there is a significant body of research that has investigated the learning experiences of children and adolescents in a variety of settings beyond the classroom. These are sometimes referred to as informal settings but many include a variety of activities ranging from relatively formal and structured to entirely informal and ad hoc. We believe that much can be learned from a consideration of the way children and adolescents operate in these settings and that the patterns of engagement that have been observed have deep, fundamental implications for learning in science classrooms. It is impossible here to consider all the various fields in which learning beyond the classroom occurs.
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