Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.650355
Title: Coming to terms : an investigation of free-choice learning, scientific literacy and health literacy
Author: Malcolmson, Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 4205
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
The term free-choice learning has received relatively recent support, having been favoured by John Falk from around 2001. Free-choice learning can be described most simply as “the type of learning that occurs most frequently outside of school” (Falk, 2001, p.6). Free-choice science learning has connections with the research areas of science communication, the public understanding of science, public engagement with science and, in particular, informal learning. Additionally, Falk introduced the idea of working knowledge of science as, “knowledge generated by the learner’s own interests and needs” (Falk, Storksdieck and Dierking, 2007, p.464). This thesis explored the terms free-choice learning and working knowledge of science in order to gain a better understanding of their meaning and their importance. The work was carried out to address the following research questions: 1. Can the BodyWorks exhibits be used as a tool to provide evidence of free-choice learning and working knowledge? 2. Can the BodyWorks exhibits be used as a tool to gain a better understanding of free-choice learning and working knowledge? 3. What can be gained from revisiting scientific and health literacy concepts from the perspective of free-choice learning and working knowledge? 4. Can best practice with regards to free-choice learning and working knowledge be shared between the fields of scientific and health literacy? Glasgow Science Centre’s BodyWorks exhibits were used as a tool to empirically investigate free-choice learning and working knowledge. Data were gathered using semi-structured interviews and staff diaries. It was found that 93% of participants referred to some type of free-choice learning experience when discussing the BodyWorks exhibits. A better understanding of free-choice learning and working knowledge was achieved. Free-choice learning and working knowledge were used as a lens through which to revisit the concepts and definitions of scientific literacy and health literacy. This theoretical work provided an insight to key themes developing in this literature and directions for future research. The results of both the empirical and theoretical parts of this thesis combined to produce implications for free-choice learning providers, formal education, the health sector and society. Most importantly the results presented ideas on how these groups could utilise free-choice learning and working knowledge to their benefit.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.650355  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L Education (General)
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