ERIC Number: EJ1162751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Participation in Informal Science Learning Experiences: The Rich Get Richer?
DeWitt, Jennifer; Archer, Louise
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v7 n4 p356-373 2017
Informal science learning (ISL) experiences have been found to provide valuable opportunities to engage with and learn about science and, as such, form a key part of the STEM learning ecosystem. However, concerns remain around issues of equity and access. The Enterprising Science study builds upon previous research in this area and uses the construct of "science capital" to understand and support science engagement among young people, particularly those historically marginalised from science. Drawing on survey data from nearly 6000 children ages 11-16 in England, we investigate who participates in particular areas of informal STEM learning outside of the science classroom. Survey findings are illustrated by interview data from the same project. Analyses suggest that overall participation in different types of informal science learning experiences ("informal" learning experiences, "everyday" learning experiences, and school-led enrichment) varies. Generally, students from more privileged social backgrounds participate more, but with further ethnic and gender patterns between different ISL activity types. These differential patterns of participation highlight how some areas of the ecosystem (e.g. "everyday" learning experiences) are more accessible, while others (e.g. in designed spaces and school-led enrichment) could do more to address inequities in participation.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Elementary School Students, Secondary School Students, Informal Education, Science Education, STEM Education, Student Participation, Ecology, Extracurricular Activities, Learning Experience, Socioeconomic Status, Advantaged, Racial Differences, Gender Differences, Equal Education, Mixed Methods Research, Student Surveys
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)