Teachers’ Lounge

Informal Science Education: Professional Learning Programs

by megan on Aug. 29th, 2014 No Comments

Informal Science Education
Professional Learning Programs

The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to introduce professional learning programs for informal educators interested in exploring the theory and practice of education within free-choice settings. Our programs immerse educators in best practices for engaging the public with science and sustainability. Sessions take place at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Snacks are provided.

~ Flyer ~ . ~ Application ~

Goals of the Programs

  • Develop a common understanding: review current research in science and sustainability education
  • Reflect: observe and evaluate your own teaching; and observe ways other educators teach
  • Nurture a learning community: build a network of educators through shared experiences and collect resources for designing educational activities in informal environments
  • Implement changes to practice: educators develop a new activity on a topic of your choosing- or tweak an existing one- which reflects what you’ve learned

Program 1: Learning, Reflections & Science
October 1 – November 19, 2014
Wednesdays from 4:30 – 7:30pm

This program is based on the Reflecting on Practice program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science. Participants will explore research on learning and methods for engaging learners in scientific practices. Educators must be available for all of the Wednesday night sessions.

  • How Learning Happens (Oct 1)
  • Accessing Prior Knowledge (Oct 8)
  • Learning Conversations (Oct 15)
  • Observing and Discussing Practice (Oct 22)
  • Nature and Practices of Science (Oct 29)
  • Scientific Practices & the NGSS (Nov 5)
  • Observing and Discussing Practice (Nov 12)
  • Poster Session & Happy Hour (Nov 19)

Program 2: Conservation & Sustainability Education
January 14 – March 18, 2015

This program focuses on the process for creating programs and activities that support learners in engaging with environmentally friendly actions. Participants will engage in a rapid prototyping and iterative design process. Educators must be available for all six Wednesday night sessions from 4:30-7:30pm, and all three Friday night sessions from 5:00-9:00pm.

  • Pedagogical Strategies (Weds, Jan 14)
  • Using Audience Surveys (Weds, Jan 21)
  • Using Findings to Inform Design (Weds, Jan 28)
  • Creating Evaluation Instruments (Weds, Feb 4)
  • Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Feb 13)
  • Reflect and Analyze Data (Weds, Feb 18)
  • Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Feb 27)
  • Reflect and Compare Data (Weds, Mar 4)
  • Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Mar 13)
  • Presentations & Happy Hour! (Weds, Mar 18)

Fees & Application Process
To apply for a spot in the program, please fill out the application here www.surveymonkey.com/s/ISEapp.

Applicants may select a single program, or choose to attend both. If you have questions, or want to know more, please contact Lindzy Bivings at lbivings@calacademy.org

  • Individual Rate: $175 / program
  • Team Rate (2 or more people from the same organization): $125 / program per person
  • If these rates are outside of your ability to pay, please contact us for scholarship information

Want to spread the word? Download this flyer and distribute to your colleagues to encourage them to join your team!

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