Science Museums: Reflections from an Autobiographical Journey

  • Ana Maria Navas IanniniEmail author
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 17)


In this chapter, I use the currere process of reflexive inquiry (PinarWF, AnnMeetAmEducResAssoc2:19–27, 1975), as a personal experience method (Grumet MR, JTeachEduc40:13–17, 1989) to map my intellectual interests about science museums and make meaning of them. Moving through the four moments of inquiry that Pinar describes − regressive, progressive, analytical, and synthetic −, I start with a turn to my autobiographical past, looking closely at undergraduate, graduate and professional experiences that first opened a space for me to combine science and education, and then, to approach (and question) the work of science museums. Places, people, feeling and emotions emerged as part of this reconstruction. In taking distance of the past, I move within the other moments of inquiry. I look at the positions that ground my current doctoral research with museum exhibits that disrupt dominant cultural narratives and prevailing models of science communication. As part of this process, I reflect on the ways I have strengthened and refined my epistemological beliefs and my understandings about the challenges and possibilities to envision (and to advocate for) science museums as places for promoting social change. While identifying relations between intellectual interests and biographical movement, I explore potential angles for future research and, also, possibilities for combining theory and practice.


En este trajo utilizo currere, el proceso de investigación reflexiva (PinarWF, Ann Meet Am Educ Res Assoc 2:19–27, 1975), como un método de experiencia personal (Grumet MR, J Teach Educ 40:13–17, 1989) para mapear mis intereses intelectuales sobre museos de ciencia y construir sentido en relación a ellos. Navegando los cuatro momentos que Pinar (Ann Meet Am Educ Res Assoc 2:19–27, 1975) describe – regresivo, progresivo, analítico y sintético −, comienzo con el regreso a mi pasado autobiográfico, enfocando en las experiencias de pregrado y posgrado que por primera vez abrieron un espacio para articular educación y ciencias y, posteriormente, para abordar (y cuestionar) el trabajo de museos de ciencias. Lugares, personas, sentimientos y emociones emergen como parte de esta reconstrucción. Distanciándome del pasado, me muevo por los otros momentos de investigación. Observo las posiciones que sustentan mi actual investigación de doctorado que se enfoca en exposiciones de museos que desafían narrativas culturales dominantes y modelos prevalentes de comunicación de la ciencia. Como parte de este proceso, reflexiono sobre las formas en que he fortalecido y refinado mis creencias epistemológicas y mi compresión sobre los desafíos y posibilidades de visualizar (y abogar por) museos de ciencias como espacios para producir transformación social. Mientras identifico las relaciones entre intereses intelectuales y movimiento biográfico, exploro el potencial de nuevos ángulos de investigación y también, la articulación entre teoría y práctica.


Currere Autobiography Science museums Science education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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