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Insects 2018, 9(1), 3; doi:10.3390/insects9010003

The Vivarium: Maximizing Learning with Living Invertebrates—An Out-of-School Intervention Is more Effective than an Equivalent Lesson at School

1
Department of Biology, University of Education Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 561-2, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Independent Researcher, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Department of Biology, University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 24, D-70726 Tübingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Education)
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Abstract

The introduction of living invertebrates into the classroom was investigated. First, possible anchor points for a lesson with living invertebrates are explored by referring to the curriculum of primary/secondary schools and to out-of-school learning. The effectiveness of living animals for increasing interest, motivation, and achievement in recent research is discussed. Next, the Vivarium, an out-of-school learning facility with living invertebrates, is described. The effects of an intervention study with living invertebrates on achievement are then investigated at school (School condition) and out of school (University condition); a third group served as a control condition. The sample consisted of 1861 students (an age range of 10–12 years). Invertebrate-inspired achievement was measured as pre-, post-, and follow-up-tests. Measures of trait and state motivation were applied. The nested data structure was treated with three-level analyses. While achievement generally increased in the treatment groups as compared to the control group, there were significant differences by treatment. The University condition was more effective than the School condition. Achievement was positively related to conscientiousness/interest and negatively to tension. The study concludes that out-of-school learning offers achievement gains when compared to the same treatment implemented at school. The outlook focuses on further research questions that could be implemented with the Vivarium. View Full-Text
Keywords: invertebrate education; living animals; achievement; motivation; classroom teaching; school students; pre-service teachers; out-of-school learning invertebrate education; living animals; achievement; motivation; classroom teaching; school students; pre-service teachers; out-of-school learning
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Wüst-Ackermann, P.; Vollmer, C.; Randler, C.; Itzek-Greulich, H. The Vivarium: Maximizing Learning with Living Invertebrates—An Out-of-School Intervention Is more Effective than an Equivalent Lesson at School. Insects 2018, 9, 3.

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