Interest And Motivation In Informal Science Learning

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Interest And Motivation In Informal Science Learning


In this paper, research on interest and motivation is revisited in the context of informal science learning (ISL) settings such as museums, out-of school or after-school clubs or groups, science camps, and enrichment programs. The ISL context differs from traditional school “cookbook” science in a number of critical ways: rather than emphasizing science information, it is designed to engage participants in inquiry-informed and free-choice opportunities to work with authentic science. Productive participation in the ISL setting should enable the development of scientific literacy and scientific thinking (Lehrer & Schauble, 2006), although tracking and documenting such development is not simple (Falk & Storksdieck, 2005).


This work is a white paper prepared for the National Academies, National Research Council, Board on Science Education, Learning Science in Informal Environments.