Marjaana Veermans

Enhancing interest in science through art and design practices

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People’s general alertness, for instance, on health and nutrition topics, show that people are interested in reading and learning science when it comes to issues that relate to their daily lives. The concept of interest can explain why people want to engage in these topics and learn from them. In school context students should be guided to transform their practical problems into scientific questions and to translate science back into practical solutions. Integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with art and design (STEAM), provides a concrete solution for creating science learning environments in which students’ existing interests can be better taken into consideration than in traditional science learning by creating student initiated design activities. In art and design learning the focus is on creating artifacts. This can be a way to move from the emphasis of content knowledge in science learning to the direction of learning how to do science. In addition, art and design are process oriented and solution driven.

 The aim of the proposed project is to explore how art and design processes can be implemented in interdisciplinary learning settings. Furthermore, the project aims at examining the dynamics of students’ situational interest in art and design (science) learning settings, and discovering longitudinal development of students’ interest and engagement in science. The context of the study will be learning environments that will engage the students in science practices by offering creative art and design contexts. The expected results of the project will provide insights on how students’ interest in science can be triggered, and more importantly maintained. Together with the outcomes of the design experiments this will provide guidelines for designing and implementing science practices in schools that will educate students who are more actively engaged in science throughout life.

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