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Dioramas as Depictions of Reality and Opportunities for Learning in Biology

Reiss, Michael and Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale (2011) Dioramas as Depictions of Reality and Opportunities for Learning in Biology. Curator, 54 (4). pp. 447-459.

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A diorama is a careful positioning of a number of museum objects in a naturalistic setting. While expensive to construct, dioramas offer tremendous potential as educational tools. The education literature on dioramas, while growing, is still slight. Here we focus on dioramas as sites for learning science, specifically biology. We examine the extent to which dioramas reflect or construct reality and the effect on visitors. We suggest that a useful perspective can be to see dioramas as telling stories. Visitors respond well to stories and bring their own experiences, hopes, and fears to them. But to maximize the educational impact of dioramas, the stories they tell need to be constructed with some care. Younger visitors, for example, can benefit from scaffolding, an approach often used when introducing children to literature that is at the upper end of, or beyond, their present unaided capabilities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 09:10
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:49
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