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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 Learning Science in Informal Environments:
People, Places, and Pursuits
 Learning Science

Download or read the report for free

Surrounded by Science

Download or read the resource for practitioners
 This report synthesizes the research on science learning in informal environments.  Informal science learning is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues (museums, media outlets, state parks, science clubs, after school programs), and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its’ promise and effects is informed by a range of disciplines and perspectives, including field-based research, evaluations, visitor studies, and more traditional psychological studies of learning. While the informal science learning literature is broad and diverse, the evidence base is also splintered.

Sponsor: National Science Foundation’s Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Based on the consensus report, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, the Board on Science Education developed a resource for practitioners that is based on the evidence, findings, and conclusions of the consensus report.  This resource, Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments, provides practitioners with a view of the research findings situated in the context of their daily work.

Sponsors: National Science Foundation’s Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund

During the course of papers were commissioned for the Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments: A Review of the Research Past, Present, and Future through support from the National Science Foundation. These papers were presented at committee meetings between June 2006 and October 2007. 
Read the background papers

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