Take a look at Conclusion # 7… certainly one to discuss!!

Dear NFMV club members and friends.

I thought I should share with you this very interesting piece of news from the Ramsar Secretariat. Take a look at Conclusion 7!! Certainly one to discuss!!!

Here you go:

Greetings CEPA list members:

I suspect that many list members are responsible for delivering ‘informal’ education, education that takes place outside the formal learning settings such as school, universities, further education institutions etc. Environmental education centres, museums, zoos, science centres and the like have long provided an informal learning centre about science for young and old. But does it really make a difference to what people understand about science, and what people ‘do’ in response to this knowledge and understanding? You will be pleased to hear that the answer to “does it make a difference is a resounding “yes” from a recent far-reaching study carried out in the US.

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, a report of the National Research Council of the National Academies published in January of this year, is based on hundreds of pre-existing studies. This 325-page report provides a synthesis of findings, and the 18 key conclusions in the final chapter have much to say about the role of the informal science learning environment in improving science understanding.

Here are a few conclusions from the final chapter (each linking back to the relevant earlier chapters) to whet your appetite to delve further into this report:

Conclusion 2: A great deal of science learning, often unacknowledged, takes place outside school in informal environments – including everday activity, designed spaces, and programs – as individuals navigate across a range of social settings.”

Conclusion 3: Learning science in informal environments involves developing positive science-related attitudes, emotions, and identities; learning science practices; appreciating the social and historical context of science; and cognition. Informal environments can be particularly important for developing and validating learners’ positive science-specific interests, skills, emotions and identities.”

Conclusion 4: Members of cultural groups develop systematic knowledge of the natural environment through participation in informal learning experiences and forms of exploration that are shaped by their cultural-historical backgrounds and the demands of particular environments and settings. Such knowledge and ways of approaching nature reflect a diversity of perspectives that should be recognized in designing science learning experiences.”

Conclusion 8: designers and educators can make science more accessible to learners when they portray science as a social, lived experience, when they portray science in contexts that are relevant to learners and when they are mindful of diverse learners’ existing relationships with science and institutions of science learning.”

And here’s perhaps a surprising one:

Conclusion 7: Broadcast, print, and digital media can play an important role in facilitating science learning across settings. The evidence base, however, is uneven. Although there is strong evidence for the impact of educational television on science learning, there is substantially less evidence regarding the impact of other media – newspapers, television, print, digital media, gaming, radio – on science learning.”

To read more, you can begin with this link: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/informal-science-activities-enhance-knowledge-.html

which takes you to the online SciDev article raising awareness about the report or go straight to the report here: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12190&page=R1. The report is available for purchase at this link but can also be viewed and printed chapter by chapter at the URL immediately above.


Best regards, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
Sandra Hails, CEPA Programme Officer
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 999 0176; Fax: +41 22 999 0169
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://ramsar.org
CEPA mini-Web site: http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm

By the way, did you know that Fiji is eligible to download PDF articles from the National Academic Press website? Take a look at the website link provided by Sandra above and see for yourself!

Have a lovely week!