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ERIC Number: ED536407
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Making Science Matter: Collaborations between Informal Science Education Organizations and Schools. A CAISE Inquiry Group Report. Executive Summary
Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education
Throughout the world, and for many decades, science-rich cultural institutions, such as zoos, aquaria, museums, and others, have collaborated with schools to provide students, teachers and families with opportunities to expand their experiences and understanding of science. However, these collaborations have generally failed to institutionalize: in many communities they come and go with changes in funding or leadership. There are many reasons for this pattern, both global and local. Global reasons relate to the hybrid nature of formal-informal collaborations which make them fall outside of obvious funding categories, render standard assessment tools inadequate to document their effects, and challenge priorities for both formal and informal institutions, since this work appears to fall outside of the core activities of each institutional type. Local reasons include changes in leadership or immediate priorities. This report begins with the premise that it is important to move beyond these challenges. The authors draw on theoretical perspectives as well as practical examples to show that, in fact, formal-informal collaborations fall "exactly within the core activities" of both schools and informal learning organizations, including museums, youth programs, and libraries. The authors argue for more intentional and strategic deployments of resources, leading to collaborations that build on the particular affordances and strengths of different institutional types to meet shared goals of making science learning more accessible and compelling to young people in the communities.
Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education. 1025 Vermont Avenue NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-783-7200; Fax: 202-783-7207; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)