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
Azevedo, F. S. (2011). Lines of practice: A practice-centered theory of interest relationships. Cognition and Instruction, 29(2), 147–184. doi:10.1080/07370008.2011.556834
What keeps an individual interested and motivates long-term engagement in a practice? This Azevedo article presents a grounded theory of long-term, self-motivated participation based on data gathered through an ethnography of hobbyists’ participation in model rocketry. The author emphasizes that long-term engagement depends on the connection of the activity to the participant’s “larger life.”
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.
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.
Johnson, C. C. (2011). The road to culturally relevant science: Exploring how teachers navigate change in pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 170–198.
This article reports on a case study of two middle school science teachers who took part in professional development designed to help them enact culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms. The long-term and community-oriented aspects of the professional development seemed to play a vital role in supporting the teachers’ success.
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.
Enright, K. A. (2011). Language and literacy for a new mainstream. American Educational Research Journal, 48(1), 80–118. doi:10.3102/0002831210368989
In this comparative case study, Enright explores whether the very act of labeling students contributes to continued differences in educational opportunity for students labeled “mainstream” and “non-mainstream.”
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.