Topic outline

  • Summary

    Natural Europe project deployed a number of software tools that allow teachers museum educators to design innovative online pathways through the digital collections of Natural History Museums. The purpose of these is to educate the European students and adults on objects related to educational objectives and curricula on Natural History, Environmental Education, and Biological Sciences in a more interesting and attractive way. To this end, a community of teachers and museum educators exchanging views, approaches, and ideas is being developed and trained through workshops, summer schools and other parallel events. The collected educational material is made available through a repository open to all (http://education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe/).

     

  • Aims

    Study the educational methods and deploy the necessary software tools that will allow educators to design innovative online pathways through the digital collections of Natural History Museum.

  • Main activities

    School Teachers and museum educator use Educational Pathway Authoring Tool that allows to make use of existing digital collections of museums around the world to design online and offline educational activities that correspond to the learning needs of their students. Although the museum plays a central role in the design of the NE Educational Pathway as most of the learning activities revolve around a visit to the museum (either physical or virtual), the learning experience should be embedded in a context that allows the preparation of the learner before the visit and follow-up activities for the exploitation of the learning outcomes.

  • Involved actors

    Teachers, museum and science centre educators, researchers, curriculum developers, the public. 

  • Connection with the curriculum

    Science and Environmental Education. 

  • Where to find the application or case

  • Content

    In the pre-visit phase, the teacher is urged to pose some questions and make connections with paintings and asteroids in order to provoke the students’ curiosity. (provoke curiosity).

    Also, the educator will identify the students’ current knowledge on the subject, (define questions from current knowledge) and after that engage in discussion to help overcome possible misunderstandings (propose preliminary explanations / hypotheses).

    Following this, students are divided in 4 groups, each one responsible to answer a set of questions. (Plan and conduct simple investigation)

    During the visit phase, students will visit the Cretan Aquarium to learn about jelly fish, thus discovering additional information that could strengthen their answers. This is achieved through active experimentation with the centre’s exhibits, as well as through personal engagement in the pre-defined activities (gathers evidence from observation).

    Soon after that, students prepare their reports based on their findings (explanation based on evidence) and then aim to investigate other explanations (consider other explanations).

    Finally in the post-visit phase, students present and discuss their findings (communicate explanation), and then the teacher proposes some additional activities, such as puzzles and drawing activities (follow-up activities and materials).

  • Relation to a green topic and curriculum

    The educational content is provided mostly by Natural History Museums and is usually connected to green topics. The educational pathways created in each country are designed having in mind the respective national curriculum. Especially the pathways created by the National History Museum of Crete where designed by a team of educational experts that included school consultants.

  • Being interdisciplinary: Drawing upon many academic disciplines and teaching methods

    The methodology is designed after having explored and highlighted important pedagogical considerations for innovation and a more effective application of digital educational content available in digital repositories of NHMs and science centres across Europe. According to the audiences identified by the museums, the templates of two main pathways were created: the first one, addressed to schools, is based on the context set by Enquiry learning theory. The second one, regarding families and general public, uses the steps set by Enquiry learning theory to build a game-based learning pathway form.

  • Relevance to the daily life of students

    Educational pathways created in the project are focused on green and environmental issues and they are aiming to help the students understand how animals and plants around them affect their everyday lives.

  • Based on accurate and factual professional expertise

    The Natural Europe content is based on accurate, reliable, and credible information about environmental issues. Pathways and other supporting educational content are provided by museum educators and teachers. Most of the content is coming from the NHMs’ digital collections of Cultural Heritage Objects and it’s enriched and described with educational metadata.