Meeting Eleven (8th May): School is not where most Americans learn most of their science

John Falk and Lynn Dierk­ing “The 95 Per­cent Solu­tion: School is not where most Amer­i­cans learn most of their sci­ence”, Amer­i­can Sci­en­tist 98: 486–493 (2010), doi: 10.1511/2010.87.486. [Down­load .PDF]

Abstract: We con­tend that a major edu­ca­tional advan­tage enjoyed by the US rel­a­tive to the rest of the world is its vibrant free-choice sci­ence learn­ing landscape—a land­scape filled with a vast array of dig­i­tal resources, edu­ca­tional tele­vi­sion and radio, sci­ence muse­ums, zoos, aquar­i­ums, national parks, com­mu­nity activ­i­ties such as 4-H and scout­ing and many other sci­en­tif­i­cally enrich­ing enterprises.

Dis­cus­sion Points:

  • John Falk claims that the evi­dence sug­gests that “most sci­ence is learned out­side of school”. Think­ing about your own friends or col­leagues who are not sci­en­tists or sci­ence teach­ers, how true do you think that state­ment is?
  • The UK has some of the best muse­ums, sci­ence cen­tres, botanic gar­dens, etc. in the world. Some schools make great use of them and oth­ers don’t. Should we be invest­ing more time and effort in vis­its to such places?
  • What would you like to see muse­ums, etc. offer that they don’t already?
  • Part­ner­ships between muse­ums, etc. seem to have much to offer. But what might these part­ner­ships look like?
  • How do we help stu­dents to max­imise their learn­ing when they are out of school – or on their home computers?

Thanks to Pro­fes­sor Justin Dil­lion for these dis­cus­sion points.


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