ERIC Number: ED500555
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
The Center for Informal Learning and Schools' Informal Learning Certificate (ILC) Program: Professional Development and Community for Informal Science Educators Working with Schools. An Evaluation Report
Smith, Anita; Helms, Jenifer V.; St. John, Mark
Inverness Research Associates
Inverness Research Associates served as external evaluators for the Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) from its inception in 2002 as a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Center for Learning and Teaching. One of the programs that CILS developed was the Informal Learning Certificate (ILC) for informal science educators (mostly museum-based) who work with K-12 schools. Through this three-year commitment, which involved face-to-face workshops, conferences, and online communication, the ILC program aimed to provide participants with intellectual and professional grounding, community, and a range of tools to improve their work with teachers, students, and school systems. Three cohorts totaling 84 participants completed the ILC program. Throughout the five years that CILS operated, Inverness Research conducted formative and summative evaluation activities both center-wide and specifically focused on the ILC. This report presents a summary of Inverness' view of the ILC, its impacts, challenges, and future opportunities. The report comprises the following four sections: (1) Introduction, contains (a) National Context--a dearth of professional development opportunities for informal science educators; and (b) Background about CILS and the ILC. (2) Program Impact: The Value and Benefits to ILC Participants, their Institutions, and the Field; (3) Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Opportunities Going Forward; and (4) Appendix: Participant Vignettes--Rita Bell and Preeti Gupta. The intended audience for this report includes science educators, museum educators, professional development providers, teachers, reform leaders, funders, and the general public.
Descriptors: Informal Education, Summative Evaluation, Elementary Secondary Education, Museums, Program Effectiveness, Educational Change, Professional Development, Science Teachers, Formative Evaluation
Inverness Research Associates. P.O. Box 313, Inverness, CA 94937. Tel: 415-669-7156; Fax: 415-669-7186; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.inverness-research.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Inverness Research Associates, CA.