Recollections of Exhibits: Stimulated-recall interviews with primary school children about science centre visits

Jennifer DeWitt, Jonathan Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


One issue of interest to practitioners and researchers in science centres concerns what meanings visitors are making from their interactions with exhibits and how they make sense of these experiences. The research reported in this study is an exploratory attempt, therefore, to investigate this process by using video clips and still photographs of schoolchildren's interactions with science centre exhibits. These stimuli were used to facilitate reflection about those interactions in follow-up interviews. The data for this study were 63 small group interviews with UK primary school children (129 students, ages 9-11). Interviews were transcribed and then analysed for common themes. The analysis presented here explores how students explain or interpret particular exhibits and the extent to which they were cognitively engaged by the process of observing their interactions with exhibits. The findings show that digital media enable students to re-visit their experience and engage them with the content underlying science centre exhibits. There was, however, little difference between the patterns of response stimulated by video as opposed to photographs. It seems that such ore-visitationso of exhibit interactions could serve as a valuable means of developing further students' scientific concepts and exploiting the value for learning from the experience afforded by informal contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbern/a
Pages (from-to)1365 - 1388
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number10
Early online date18 Aug 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


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