Non-formal student laboratory environments for primary and secondary school science education have become a major trend in the German educational arena in recent years. These non-formal student laboratory environments are thought to offer unique experimental learning experiences that often cannot be realized in daily school routines. The biggest challenge for successfully operating non-formal education is to carefully and firmly link outer- and inner-school learning.
Materials and methods:
To better facilitate this linkage this paper describes a study providing insight into students’ and teachers’ expectations of a non-formal student chemistry laboratory. Over a period of three years, 461 students and 37 teachers participated in a written survey.
The results clearly show that students and teachers have similar expectations when visiting non-formal laboratory learning environments.
The main foci addressed here concern the improvement of personal attitudes and the intensification of practical learning experiences.