Short synopses of current peer-reviewed research relevant to informal science education (ISE).

Afterschool Matters, Cultural Studies of Science Education, Curator: The Museum Journal, International Journal of Science Education, Journal of Museum Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Science Communication, Journal of the Learning Sciences, Science Education, Studies in Science Education, Other,

Esmonde, I. (2009). Mathematics learning in groups: Analyzing equity in two cooperative activity structures. *Journal of the Learning Sciences*, *18*(2), 247–284.

This article discusses the design and conditions of high school mathematics activities that aim to distribute opportunities to learn to all students. Of particular interest to ISE educators is the analysis of how some ostensibly equitable group activities may shut down equal participation. Also of interest is the theoretical discussion of the relationship between opportunities to productively participate in mathematical activities and the development of positive mathematical learning identities.

Nasir, N. S., & McKinney de Royston, M. (2013). Power, identity, and mathematical practices outside and inside school. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(1), 264–287.

This article discusses intellectual activities in African American culture that privilege mathematical thinking. The mathematical thinking in these activities is often not valued in the classroom. The authors argue for a shift from a deficit view of the cultural activities of non-dominant groups to an additive perspective that values the cultural wealth of these groups and uses that wealth to support student identity and learning.

Cobb, P., Zhao, Q., & Dean, C. (2009). Conducting design experiments to support teachers' learning: A reflection from the field. *Journal of the Learning Sciences*, *18*(2), 165–199.

This article reports the results of a design research experiment in professional development for teachers of middle school mathematics. The authors report on how they developed their programs to account for three underlying conceptual challenges to their efforts: (1) the institutional contexts that teachers worked in, (2) the ways in which the learning developed in and through the *community of practice*, and (3) the relationship between teachers' learning in the program and teachers' teaching in their classrooms. Especially because of the different institutional cultures found in ISE versus school settings, this article could be highly informative for designing ISE-based professional development programs for teachers.

Berland, L., Steingut, R., & Ko, P. (2014). High school student perceptions of the utility of the engineering design process: Creating opportunities to engage in engineering practices and apply math and science content. *Journal of Science Education Technology, 23 , 705–720.*

doi:10.1007/s10956-014-9498-4

Researchers examined whether engineering activities and lessons can help students apply science and math content in real-world contexts and gain insights into the professional activities and goals of engineers.

Nasir, N. S., & Hand, V. (2008). From the court to the classroom: Opportunities for engagement, learning, and identity in basketball and classroom mathematics. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(2), 143–179. doi:10.1080/10508400801986108

This article discusses the potential for learner engagement in the contexts of a basketball team and a mathematics classroom. The qualitative analysis centers on three aspects of each context: access to the domain, the integral roles available to learners, and opportunities for self-expression.

Jackson, K. (2011). Approaching participation in school-based mathematics as a cross-setting phenomenon. *Journal of the Learning Sciences*, *20*(1), 111–150.

There is growing understanding that learning develops across time and settings. This paper describes a particular case in which a fourth grade boy’s mathematics learning is shaped by experiences both at home and at school. It is relevant to researchers seeking to understand and study learning as a cross-setting phenomenon. It is relevant to ISE educators in that it raises questions about how to coordinate experiences between home and other settings.

Alibali, M. W., & Nathan, M. J. (2012). Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: Evidence from learners’ and teachers’ gestures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(2), 247–286.

Teachers’ and learners’ gestures while giving explanations in mathematics can be categorized into three types, revealing their cognitive nature and communicative purpose: pointing reflects a grounding in the physical environment, representational gestures reveal mental simulations of action and perception, and metaphoric gestures reveal conceptual metaphors grounded in the physical human experience. Informal educators should reflect on their own gestures and those of learners, considering what they may contribute to greater learner understanding.

Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2003). Origins and evolution of model-based reasoning in mathematics and science. In R. A. Lesh & H. M. Doerr (Eds.), Beyond constructivism: Models and modeling perspectives on mathematics problem solving, learning, and teaching (pp. 59–70). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards means that many educators who adhere to model-based reasoning styles of science will have to adapt their programs and curricula. In addition, all practitioners will have to teach modeling, and model-based reasoning is a useful way to do so. This brief offers perspectives drawn from Lehrer and Schauble, two early theorists in model-based reasoning.

Gresalfi, M. S. (2009). Taking up opportunities to learn: Constructing dispositions in mathematics classrooms. *The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18*(3), 327–369.

Many ISE educators design opportunities for children to collaborate in learning activities. This study's findings show that, when collaborations are designed to let children take responsibility for each other's understanding, the development of positive dispositions toward mathematics increases.

Van Es, E. A., & Sherin, M. G. (2010). The influence of video clubs on teachers’ thinking and practice. *Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 13*(2), 155–176. doi:10.1007/s10857-009-9130-3

Novice teachers require support in learning to attend and respond to students’ thinking as expert teachers do. Video clubs in which groups of teachers respond to videos of one another’s classrooms can help. Van Es and Sherin describe how a video club helped teachers make space for student thinking to emerge, probe students’ understanding, and learn from their students while teaching.

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