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Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments
rarely touched on? Are there any strands that seem particularly important for your setting, but have not been programmed in?
Involve local learning researchers or educators. Make use of other resources available in your community to discuss learning and learning outcomes. You could create an advisory group of knowledgeable experts.
Join online communities of peers. There are a variety of listservs and blogs that provide informal science educators with connections and opportunities to discuss learning with peers (e.g., ISEN-ASTC-L for science museums and science centers).
Discuss evaluation data with an outside consultant. Reviewing evaluation data with an outside expert may help you see the information with fresh eyes. The consultant also may have good ideas of how to use the data more effectively.
Complete an informal survey of your setting as a way to better understandthose who visit. Staff at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology modified their program based on information they learned through surveying participants. Consider surveying participants in your program to learn more about their preferences and what could be modified in your setting to expedite learning.
For Further Reading
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. (2007). Goals for science education. Chapter 2 in Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade, Taking Science to School. R.A. Duschl, H.A. Schweingruber, and A.W. Shouse (Eds.). Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.