Cascading Long Term Effects of Informal Science Education Experiences
How can the field measure whether or not any particular educational experience sets off long-term, cascades of additional learning experiences?
Science educators invest their time, effort and expertise in the effort to “make science enjoyable and interesting” and “inspire a general interest in and engagement with science.” The consensus purpose for science education experiences are the long- term transformation of the learner; an individual sufficiently engaged that s/he will have the interest and tools necessary to pursue a “cascade” of experiences subsequent to the initial educational event. Support for this conclusion comes from a large-scale survey of both informal and formal science educators in the United Kingdom where 90% of science educators from across more than a dozen sectors, including museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums, print and broadcast media, outdoor facilities, libraries and schools, rated the above two educational goals as their highest priorities (Falk, et al., 2015). A laudable purpose indeed, and many dedicated professionals work to that end, but the question remains: How can the field measure whether or not any particular educational experience sets off long-term, cascades of additional learning experiences?
Read the final report here:
Project Team: John H Falk Ph.D., Judith Koke, Lynn Dierking Ph.D.