1. to provide multifaceted and dynamic portrayals of science;

  2. to build on learners’ prior knowledge and interests; and

  3. to allow participants considerable choice and control over whether and how they engage and learn.

These commitments are consistent with findings from research on learning that reveal the importance of understanding both how individual minds work during the learning process and how an individual’s social and cultural context shapes and supports that learning. We expand on both aspects of learning in Part II and explore the implications for learning across the range of informal settings. We begin in the next chapter by elaborating on science as a human endeavor and the implications for what it means to learn science.

For Further Reading

Anderson, D., Storksdieck, M., and Spock, M. (2007). The long-term impacts of museum experiences. In J. Falk, L. Dierking, and S. Foutz (Eds.), In Principle, in Practice: Museums as Learning Institutions (pp. 197-215). Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

National Research Council. (1999). Executive summary. How People Learn (pp. xi-xvii). Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

National Research Council. (2009). Introduction. Chapter 1 in Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. P. Bell, B. Lewenstein, A.W. Shouse, and M.A. Feder (Eds.). Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Yager, R.E., and Falk, J. (Eds.). (2008). Exemplary Science in Informal Education Settings: Standards-Based Success Stories. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

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