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ERIC Number: EJ1175981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-8455
Investigating Exemplary Public Engagement with Science: Case Study of Extension Faculty Reveals Preliminary Professional Development Recommendations
Stofer, Kathryn A.; Wolfe, Teresa M.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v8 n2 p150-163 2018
Universities and stakeholders themselves demand more direct impact of scientific research provided through engagement and scientific outreach. Yet few research faculty receive preparation during graduate school or as early career faculty in anything other than research procedures such as scientific communication, education, or outreach. The Cooperative Extension System has had over 100 years of working with communities to improve their lives using university research through Extension education offerings in almost all the counties of the United States. We imagine if any research faculty get support in public engagement with science it should be Extension faculty with appointments requiring them to interact with stakeholder audiences. Therefore, in a case study, we examine the experiences of exemplary Extension faculty members as nominated by their department chairs using semi-structured interviews and thematic coding. All ten participants in our study equated their extension work with scientific outreach. We found that while researchers note a lack of time and money for engagement, other barriers such as lack of mentoring and professional development in engagement techniques and evaluation as well as structural barriers in the Extension system may be more significant. Continued research on Extension faculty and other exemplary public engagement faculty members throughout the U.S. in similar and other disciplines will shed light on the extent of these problems. Professional development for scientists can assist all faculty members in increasing the impact of their work.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A