Quel apprentissage pour les scientifiques de demain ?

J’ai récemment été invitée à prendre la parole à des réunions scientifiques, sur deux journées consécutives, dans différentes villes d’Europe. D’une part, pour l’inauguration officielle d’un réseau de centres scientifiques à Vienne, visant à relier des activités décentralisées par le biais d’une exposition itinérante et interactive dans tout l’Autriche. D’autre part, pour le Festival des sciences de Gênes, jeune événement couronné de succès qui présente des expositions et rassemble des intervenants de premier ordre dans la vieille ville italienne.

J’ai été frappée lors de mes déplacements par la tentative soutenue, et manifestement réussie, d’atteindre les deux groupes cibles sur lesquels repose l’avenir de la science et de la technologie. Les adolescents, qui forment le premier groupe, s’intéressent aux nouvelles technologies et à tous les gadgets qui les entourent. S’ils ont pleinement intégré ces technologies dans leur vie quotidienne, leur rapport à la science reste pourtant distant. Les plus jeunes enfants, l’autre groupe cible, bénéficient d’une ouverture et d’une curiosité innées qui n’ont pas encore été étouffées par le cadre scolaire formel.

Les nouveaux centres et festivals européens doivent leur succès à l’approche novatrice en matière d’enseignement et d’apprentissage proposée à ces publics potentiels. Ils sont parvenus à mettre en place un cadre largement informel, essentiellement axé sur un véritable apprentissage interactif. Les enfants qui ont peu de place dans le système éducatif formel sont amenés à poser des questions et font ainsi l’expérience du processus de recherche – qui commence précisément, le plus souvent, par des questions pertinentes.

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