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Educator's mediation in science museums: contributions from the Visitor-Based Learning Framework to the analysis of learning facilitating practices

Grant number: 19/24361-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 03, 2020
Effective date (End): August 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education
Principal Investigator:Paulo Henrique Nico Monteiro
Grantee:Paulo Henrique Nico Monteiro
Host Investigator: Chantal Lise Barriault
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Laurentian University, Sudbury Campus, Canada  


There is no doubt that museums and science centers are privileged spaces for the development of learning related to scientific subjects. Given their nature, these spaces can provide situations where visitors' prior knowledge, experiences, values and beliefs can be taken as the basis for the development of meaningful learning. Moreover, such spaces provide a unique experience, as they mobilize a set of sensations and emotions that go beyond the dimension of knowledge, roughly defined as "museal experience" and, in this sense, the human mediation performed by the museum professional plays a key role. This project aims to investigate the role of mediation performed by the museum professional in the relationship between an exhibition object and the visitor, understanding that this action promotes greater involvement and triggers learning. It will be used the model proposed by Barriault and Pearson- Visitor-Based Learning Framework (VBLF) - to analyse visitor's interaction and engagement with an exhibit with and without the museum educator mediation. The study will be conducted at Science North, Sudbury, ON, Canada, where the model was developed and is used to assess its exhibits and exhibitions. In this project, the VBLF will be used in an unprecedented way, as the mediator's performance will be analyzed and not only the relationship between the visitor and the exhibit. As a result, it is expected to gather evidence about the nature of the educator's work in science museums as a facilitator of learning, as well as to propose a set of practices and attitudes that can serve as work guidelines for museums' educators in Brazil. (AU)

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