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ERIC Number: EJ1138057
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Crumpled Molecules and Edible Plastic: Science Learning Activation in Out-of-School Time
Dorph, Rena; Schunn, Christian D.; Crowley, Kevin
Afterschool Matters, n25 p18-28 Spr 2017
The Coalition for Science After School highlights the dual nature of outcomes for science learning during out-of- school time (OST): Learning experiences should not only be positive in the moment, but also position youth for future success. Several frameworks speak to the first set of immediate outcomes--what youth learn, think, and feel as the result of informal learning experiences. Much less research has been conducted on longer-term outcomes--how OST experiences affect engagement over time, prepare youth for future learning, or even influence career trajectories. In general, the field urgently needs research and practice frameworks that speak directly to the ways OST programming produces longer-term learning, engagement, and career outcomes. Responding to this need, the authors have been developing a new framework and set of assessments built on the idea of "science learning activation". Building on recent advances in science education, sociocultural studies, and cognitive and social psychology, the authors define "science learning activation" as the dispositions, practices, and knowledge that enable learners to be successful in science learning and that are, in turn, influenced by success. This paper draws on in-depth interviews with and observations of adults and youth to explore this new concept. The authors' work so far supports a positive feedback model: the four dimensions of activation (fascination, valuing science, competency beliefs, and scientific sensemaking) all have positive effects on one or more of the aspects of success--choice, engagement, perceived success, and learning--which in turn predict increases in the dimensions of activation. Thus, science learning activation appears to provide developmental momentum that can support persistent success in science learning.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A