Hofstein and Rosenfeld, “Bridging the Gap Between Formal and Informal Science Learning”

Hofstein and Rosenfeld argue that “informal science experiences—in school-based field trips, student projects, community-based science youth programs, casual visits to informal learning settings, and the press and electronic media—can be effectively used to advance science learning” (p. 106) The authors describe their definition of “informal learning” as a “hybrid” one that “highlights an important distinction between learning contexts and learning methods” (p. 106). Their ultimate argument for “blending” formal and informal learning experiences in school sciences is that “that in addition to enriching the repertoire of learning opportunities, such blending can help meet the challenge of ‘science for all,’ i.e., providing science education tailored to diverse and heterogeneous populations of future citizens” (p. 106-107).

Hofstein and Rosenfeld’s section on “Press and Electronic Media” (104-106) has some interesting points, but I can’t help but wonder, of course, how any and all of these considerations  should be looked at today—and not just because of the growth an development of Internet technologies. The growth of television channels devoted wholly or largely to science (or, rather, scientific issues, topics, themes, etc.) and themes must have great implications for this section.

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