The effect of informal learning environment upon students’ understanding of science-technology-society-environment

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Coştu B., İnce M. C.

New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences, vol.4, no.9, pp.30-44, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


It is known that an informal learning environment (i.e., out-of-school) increases the quality of teaching and learning activities. Informal environments also provide many advantages such as enriching the content of learning. Moreover, it is emphasised that the science-technology-society-environment (STSE) learning does not effectively involve in the Turkish education system. From this point of view, informal learning environments should be considered in order to enable students’ understanding of the STSE relation. Within the scope of this study, it was aimed to determine the effectiveness of study visit on students’ understanding of STSE. The research was conducted with 14 male students in the 5th-grade level in the 2016– 2017 academic year. This research, which used a recycling-solid waste collection centre, a botanic garden, a planetarium, a science centre and a zoo, a few informal learning environments, was conducted according to the case study design method. In the study, views on science-technology-society questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, observation forms and diaries were used as data collection tools. The data indicated that the informal learning environments were inadequate to promote conceptual change; however, it was effective to comprehend newly learnt concepts. In addition, it was also concluded that informal learning environment provided students to capture the understanding of STSE relations.