ERIC Number: EJ1018942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Elevating Adult Civic Science Literacy through a Renewed Citizen Science Paradigm
Cronin, David P.; Messemer, Jonathan E.
Adult Learning, v24 n4 p143-150 Nov 2013
America's adult populace has failed to keep pace with the rapid inundation of science-centric knowledge affecting nearly every facet of personal, familial, and communal life. With three out of every four American adults considered scientifically illiterate, adult civic science literacy (CSL) has reached alarmingly low levels. The purpose of this research is to determine if the CSL of adults can be elevated through a renewed citizen science paradigm (RCSP)--incorporating nonformal outdoor adult education and structured experiential learning--in which volunteers conduct scientific research in an unfamiliar domain while maintaining the basic tenet of data collection in citizen science programming. From 67 program volunteers, 23 adults were purposively selected on the basis of their complete participation throughout the program. Data were collected through a repeated measures design, self-report surveys ("n" = 23) and quantitatively analyzed. The results revealed the RCSP statistically significantly elevated the CSL--science vocabulary knowledge ("p" less than 0.001) and science process understanding ("p" less than 0.001)--of participating adults while collecting more than 30,000 pieces of scientific data for the supporting agency that funded the program.
Descriptors: Adult Education, Scientific Literacy, Adults, Experiential Learning, Knowledge Level, Science Education, Outdoor Education, Nonformal Education, Pollution, Water Quality, Surveys, Likert Scales, Statistical Analysis, Measurement Techniques, Measures (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A