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Professional Learning & Growth

Professional Learning & Growth

Our Professional Learning and Growth research investigates how scientists, trainees, and educators learn in their profession and develop the skills, practices, and dispositions that support STEM learning.

AISL Framework

2015 - 2020

The AISL Framework project centered on the creation and validation of a theoretically grounded and empirically derived Framework for professional growth and learning within the informal STEM learning (ISL) field.

Collaborative Research: An Evidence-based Informal STEM Learning (ISL) Professional Framework

2015 - 2019

The Collaborative Research: An Evidence-based Informal STEM Learning (ISL) Professional Framework project focused on developing a Professional Framework for the field of informal STEM learning (ISL). The project addressed two current and pressing issues: (1) Ensuring that ISL professionals have the necessary knowledge and skills to apply the substantial and growing evidence base in ISL in order to effectively engage the public in STEM, and (2) Understanding and supporting the needs of the full range of ISL professionals during their basic education and at particular points throughout their careers. These two issues are linked.

Connected Science Learning

2014 - 2017

The National Science Teachers Association (led by PI David Evans), the Association of Science-Technology Centers (led by Co-PI Margaret Glass), and Oregon State University’s STEM Research Center (led by Co-PI Kelly Riedinger) received an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop, disseminate and evaluate a new resource for connecting STEM education practitioners across settings and to the teaching and learning knowledge base. As a result of this initiative, a new journal, Connected Science Learning: Linking In-School and Out-of-School STEM Learning was launched in the Spring of 2016. The STEM Research Center led the summative evaluation study to understand the impact of the journal on the STEM education field.

Advancing STEM, Creativity & Innovation Learning through SYNERGIES

2013 - 2014

Advancing SCILS (STEM, Creativity & Innovation Learning through SYNERGIES was a pilot study in support of a community-wide partnership in the Parkrose neighborhood of E. Portland. With support from the Lemelson Foundation, Center-affiliated researchers Lynn Dierking, Nancy Staus, and John Falk with the assistance of Jennifer Wyld and Deb Bailey worked to better understand the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics), creativity and invention learning of early adolescents under-represented in STEM. By working with the community to improve the educational capacities of an STEM providers (both in- and out-of-school), this innovative project aimed to improve the chances that under-served early adolescents will be able to successfully compete in the rapidly changing world of the 21st Century.