Front-line educators include the professional and volunteer staff of institutions and programs that offer and support science learning experiences. In some ways, even parents and other care providers who interact with learners in these settings are front-line educators. Front-line educators may model desirable science learning behaviors, helping learners develop and expand scientific explanations and practice and in turn shaping how learners interact with science, with one another, and with educational materials. They may also serve as the interface between informal institutions and programs and schools, communities, and groups of professional educators. Given the diversity of community members who do (or could) participate in informal environments, front-line educators should embrace diversity and work thoughtfully with diverse groups.
Recommendation 4: Front-line staff should actively integrate questions, everyday language, ideas, concerns, worldviews, and histories, both their own and those of diverse learners. To do so they will need support opportunities to develop cultural competence, and to learn with and about the groups they want to serve.
National Research Council. (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K-8. Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade. R.A. Duschl, H.A. Schweingruber, and A.W. Shouse (Eds.). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.