Levinson, R. (2010). Science education and democratic participation: An uneasy congruence. Studies in Science Education, 46(1), 69–119.
Democratic participation is supposed to be enabled by the skills of scientific literacy. But there are several models of democratic participation—deficit, deliberative, and more radical forms. The author of this paper argues that educators need to make explicit to students the political and hegemonic bases underlying these models as well as the role of scientific knowledge and decision-making. This paper may be of interest to ISE educators leading programs supporting scientific literacy through argumentation, participation, and
Stodden, V. (2010). Open science: Policy implications for the evolving phenomenon of user-led scientific innovation. Journal of Science Communication, 9(1), 1–8.
The internet allows sharing of digital data, code, and research articles so that not only scientific results but also the underlying supports and the paths of reasoning are publicly available. It is an opportunity for the public to learn about and participate in “computational and data-driven” citizen science. Informal science educators and communities can facilitate citizen engagement in this work by creating learning experiences that give citizens the skills needed to gain entry into the data of their interest, by working with professional societies to find and create outlets for this study, and by fostering collaboration between citizens and scientists.
Miller, J. D. (2010) Adult science learning in the internet era. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53(2), 191–208.
Focusing on where people find information about issues relevant to civic society, the author of this paper concludes that, in contrast to the Internet and related information technologies, informal science institutions are less impactful on civic science literacy. The implications of his findings are that in the Internet era an informal science institution's in-house presentation of intriguing phenomena may not be sufficient to supporting an engaged scientifically literate citizenry.
Lyon, G., Jafri, J., & St. Louis, K. (2012). Beyond the pipeline: STEM pathways for youth development. Afterschool Matters, 16 , 48–57.
This article critiques the concept of the “STEM pipeline,” an analogy commonly used in education and policy discussions to describe the academic progression of students from K–12 through higher education in STEM. The authors’ new conceptual framework supports youth development goals in addition to STEM learning and reflects the experience of urban youth in out-of-school time settings.
Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Engaging young people: Learning in informal contexts. Review of Research in Education, 30, 239–278.
This 2006 paper reviews the ways in which structured informal learning programs for youth have been characterized in the research literature. The paper synthesizes opportunities for and challenges to research in this domain; it categorizes programs and gives concrete examples of various program types. A proposed Vygotskian research framework is organized around key dimensions of the informal learning context, including location, relationships, content, pedagogy, and assessment.
Villanueva, M. G., Taylor, J., Therrien, W., & Hand, B. (2012). Science education for students with special needs. Studies in Science Education, 48(2), 187–215.
Students with special educational needs score significantly below their peers across several measures of science achievement. However, educational approaches that provide appropriate scaffolding and support, such as the inquiry-based science writing heuristic described in this paper, can benefit special educational needs students and ensure an equitable experience for all.
Kapon, S., Ganiel, U. & Eylon, B.S. (2010) Explaining the unexplainable: Translated Scientific Explanations (TSE) in public physics lectures. International Journal of Science Education, 32(2), 245–264.
This paper reports on comparative study of three ‘good’ public science lectures. Based on the analysis, it presents an explanatory framework composed of four clusters of elements: analogical approach, story, knowledge organisation and judicious selection of content. Of particular interest to ISE practitioners engaging in similar public engagement endeavours is the authors’ suggestion that the highest quality presentations use elements from all four clusters.