Author: Monae Verbeke – Free Choice Learning Lab, Hatfield Marine Science Center

John Falk

Supporting and sustaining the development of science literacy is the primary goal of all formal and informal STEM+C education institutions. Yet, what it means to be literate in science faces scrutiny due to its superficial applicability to an individual’s everyday life or individual interests. Science literacy has predominantly focused on the education of a person for the “good of the person” (a top-down approach), rather than the engagement of individuals in science topics as a useful exercise for both the individual as well as for the sciences themselves (a community approach). In this session, we will challenge the field to rethink how we measure scientific literacy, while sharing the development of a new tool designed to fully captures the breadth of current conceptualizations of the sciences, while facilitating the development of science as useful in an individual’s daily life. The Institute for Learning Innovation has embarked on this science communication project in order to create a community-lead measure of science literacy – particularly one that broadly and accurately captures the multi-dimensional, situated realities of how people cumulatively interact with science over a lifetime. Ultimately, we hope this tool will foster partnerships between science experts, K-12 school systems, and informal learning organizations, as well as help to bring about institutional change for better science engagement beginning at the formal education level and continuing throughout a lifetime.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices