Ocean Sciences Meeting–Portland, OR
July 9, 2012 in 2010 Conferences
22-26 February 2010
Teaching Together: Scientists and Educators Creating a New Community of Practice
Partnerships between scientists and educators have been occurring as mechanisms for science education reform over the last two decades. The work they have done together includes: scientists providing science content as part of professional development activities for teachers; graduate students teaching lessons in K-12 classrooms; and scientists offering their content knowledge in developing curriculum materials. In most of these instances, the scientists provide their subject matter expertise, which the educators use to ensure the scientific accuracy and credibility of their pedagogical activities. For this project, informal science education institutions (ISEIs) are explored as venues for scientists to engage with the public, and in addition, a different model of partnership is put forth. In this instance, ocean scientists and educators develop new understanding and practice, as they co-teach a college course. The college course engages graduate and undergraduate science students in learning and teaching science as they participate in outreach activities at ISEIs as part of their practicum. Their professors, meanwhile, are challenged to reflect on how they communicate and teach their scientific research and knowledge. Likewise, educators in ISEIs are afforded the opportunity to examine the nature and processes of science and science learning, and to share their pedagogical expertise with the scientists and university students. It is argued that in this process of crossing boundaries between one another’s communities of practice, scientists and educators are creating a new community where members inform and develop their professional knowledge and sustain their relationship beyond this individual course. Findings offer insight on collaborative relationships between scientists and educators, as well as universities and ISEIs, which have implications for ways in which we think about, and draw upon, all available resources to improve science literacy.
Download the poster: Ocean 2010: Poster (PDF, 2 MB)