Sunday, October 24, 2010

Out-of-school-time (OST) science experiences

From American Scientist article The 95 Percent Solution School is not where most Americans learn most of their science:
"The “school-first” paradigm is so pervasive that few scientists, educators or policy makers question it. This despite two important facts: Average Americans spend less than 5 percent of their life in classrooms, and an ever-growing body of evidence demonstrates that most science is learned outside of school.

We contend that a major educational advantage enjoyed by the U.S. relative to the rest of the world is its vibrant free-choice science learning landscape—a landscape filled with a vast array of digital resources, educational television and radio, science museums, zoos, aquariums, national parks, community activities such as 4-H and scouting and many other scientifically enriching enterprises. The sheer quantity and importance of this science learning landscape lies in plain sight but mostly out of mind. We believe that nonschool resources—used by learners across their lifetimes from childhood onward—actually account for the vast majority of Americans’ science learning."

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