27 SES 04 A, CREATIONS: Engendering Creative Science Classrooms
Profound educational STEM activities tend to combine the strengths of formal and informal settings. In both settings arts may add another support to promote creative inquiry-based learning and as STEAM may bridge the more abstract science side with the more affective art side. As a pan-European initiative, CREATIONS focusses on advancing science classrooms by optimizing teaching options, improving outreach outcomes and maximizing social impacts within conventional science issues. The initiative was established to empower using and sharing the collective power of scientific resources in meaningful educational activities. It promotes creative inquiry-based learning and appreciation of how science works, it demonstrates effective integration of science education with infrastructures through monitored-for-impact innovative activities and last but not least it documents the whole process for implementation of activities in both scientific research outreach and science education. A theoretically derived 6th grade classroom module focusing on the evolution of birds contains the core of one case study. Participants supposedly were novices in evolutionary classroom issues when they completed matching hands-on experiments following the inquiry-based vision, learned about the theoretical background and formulated explanations based on observations. Our age-appropriate inquiry-based hands-on and multimedia workstations focusing on the unique fossil of Archaeopteryx contained a (replica) fossil with its extraordinary importance for understanding evolution when student-centered object-based activities combined self-dependent learning opportunities supported by the individual learning stations. The structure originated in the 5 “E” (engage, explore, explain, extent, evaluate) which as a key concept is regarded to optimally support individual cognitive learning. Altogether, our inquiry-based module integrated a) arts in science with b) authentic tools with the intent to enable a broader access for interesting science learning. It intended to promote excitement, to support successful learning in science and to crosslink interdisciplinary tools. A working booklet and various tools provided background information of the involved phenomena. Participation caused a substantial and sustained increase in individual knowledge scores after the lesson unit, i.e., signaling a learning success. As no gender effect appeared, our 6th grade module apparently serves female and male students equally.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper. Henriksen, D. (2014). Full STEAM Ahead: Creativity in Excellent STEM Teaching Practices. The STEAM Journal, 1(2). Sternberg, R. J. (2006). The Nature of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 87–98. Schumm, M. F., & Bogner, F. X. (2016). Measuring adolescent science motivation. International Journal of Science Education, 38(3), 434–449.
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