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Informal STEM Learning: A Roadmap for Research and Practice

June 25, 2014 | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks
The publication of the National Academies of Science consensus study, Learning Science in Informal Environments (2009), was an important marker in the history of informal STEM learning (ISL). With five years hindsight, we pause to reflect how far ISL has come as a field, what we have achieved, and what the future might hold. The impetus to do so came via our participation on a panel at a symposium at the 2014 NARST Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. Our session was framed by overarching questions about the kind of research currently being conducted in ISL--and for what purpose. Some of the specific questions we considered include: What kind of research would help us better understand learning in informal environments? To better support practice? To illustrate the value of ISL? Is there a need to frame extant research differently, or do we need to collect different kinds of data to address different questions specific to ISL? How should we build connections to the broader field of STEM education so that we get beyond the old, and increasingly less useful, distinctions between in and out-of-school learning?


  • Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • 2013 10 24 035c225aa9a1e7cd76a5346612b91472 bpfull
    CUNY Brooklyn College
  • 10012698 10152726465128704 8678714687622827920 o  1
    Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • 2013 05 17 Kevin crowley headshot
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Jennifer DeWitt
  • REVISE logo
    New York Hall of Science
  • Storksdieck Headshot small
    National Academy of Science
  • REVISE logo
    Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • 2013 06 19 Heather Zimmerman pix Oct2008
    Pennsylvania State University
  • Citation

    Resource Type: Reference Materials
    Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
    Audience: General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators
    Environment Type: Media and Technology | Public Programs | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks | Conferences | Exhibitions | Informal/Formal Connections

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