Morag, O., & Tal, T. (2012). Assessing learning in the outdoors with the Field Trip in Natural Environments (FiNE) framework. International Journal of Science Education, 34(5), 745–777.
Despite increasing interest in the potential of outdoor learning experiences, limited research has focused on identifying “good” outdoor education practice. In this paper, the authors propose a theoretically based practical framework for assessing field trips in nature parks and other outdoor settings. The framework focuses on four aspects of field trips: preparation, pedagogy, activity, and outcomes.
Morehouse, H. (2009). Making the most of the middle: A strategic model for middle school afterschool programs. Afterschool Matters, 8, 1–10.
This paper summarizes key design elements for programs for middle-school-aged children, addressing issues of relationships, relevance, reinforcement, real-life projects, and rigor. The authors argue that these five components take into account the intellectual and emotional developmental needs of this age range.
Lyon, G., & Jafri, J. (2010). Project Exploration's Sisters4Science. Afterschool Matters, 11,15–22.
This article describes an afterschool science program targeting girls from communities underrepresented in the sciences. The authors argue for the need for such programs to build on research findings that are relevant to girl-specific programs, which they summarize in the article. This article provides a highly condensed overview of research findings and illustrates how the authors have applied these findings to their program design. It could be of interest to ISE educators seeking to design STEM programs for girls.
McGregor, D. (2012). Dramatising science learning: Findings from a pilot study to re-invigorate elementary science pedagogy for five- to seven-year olds. International Journal of Science Education, 34(8), 1145–1165.
Rather than enacting imaginative approaches, some teachers tend to engage in safe but unexciting transmission of science knowledge. This study examined a professional development programme wherein primary school teachers learned the skills and approaches of Dramatic Science. The findings indicate that the programme met its aim of helping teachers become more confident and creative in supporting children’s science learning.
Denner, J., Bean, S., & Martinez, J. (2009). The Girl Game Company: Engaging Latina girls in information technology. Afterschool Matters, 8, 26–35.
Although digital technology has become ubiquitous in our time, not everyone is afforded the same opportunities to pursue the fields of engineering, computer science, and advanced technology. This paper examines how an afterschool and summer program for middle school girls considered the roles of gender, culture, and youth development to increase the participation of Latinas in IT careers.
Cochran, G. R., & Ferrari, T. M. (2009). Preparing youth for the 21st century knowledge economy: Youth programs and workforce preparation. Afterschool Matters, 8, 11–25.
Successfully combining youth development with workforce preparation means creating opportunities for work-based learning, where youth are learning workplace skills through work rather than learning about a specific career path. This paper summarizes the ways in which workforce skills such as communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork can be cultivated through three types of program models: “value-added,” “growing your own,” and employer partnerships.
Palmer, K. L., Anderson, S. A., and Sabatelli, R. M. (2009). How is the afterschool field defining program quality? A review of effective program practices and definitions of program quality. Afterschool Matters, 9, 1–12.
This study is a summary of the review of the research literature of afterschool quality frameworks. It presents the debates on program effectiveness to help organizations, policymakers, funders, and evaluators make decisions about afterschool programming. This review is of help to ISE educators and program directors in understanding the current trends in outcomes-based programming, while grounding the conversation in the complexity and range of relevant developmental tasks.
Nemirovsky, R. (2011). Episodic feelings and transfer of learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(2), 308–337.
How does a past learning experience get integrated into a present moment? How does a memory make individuals feel about what they are learning now—and then remember it? The influence of a past event or memory can significantly affect the learning going on in a present moment. In this paper presenting a theory of transfer, Nemirovsky argues that past emotions, past physical movements, and cognitive memories—which he calls collectively "episodic feelings"—are evoked in a present moment and contribute to an individual’s learning.
Michalchik, V., & Gallagher, L. (2010). Naturalizing assessment. Curator, 53(2), 209–219. doi:10.1111/j.2151-6952.2010.00020.x
Existing (and essentially school-based) approaches to assessment involve recording the extent to which learners gain particular knowledge or skills. In informal settings, outcomes depend on the participant’s own agenda. Michalchik and Gallagher propose an approach to assessment—of both individuals and programmes—that focuses on learner behaviour instead of on pre-determined objectives.