Baiting the Hooks: Scientist-Educator Team Development Through Concept Mapping and Online Tools
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." – Chinese Proverb.
Can we teach scientists to "fish" for their audiences from all walks of life, and enjoy the experience so much that they contribute to informal education for a lifetime? Using cutting-edge multimedia tools and a novel workshop model, COSEE-OS is helping scientists better communicate with the public by working with informal science educators. In conjunction with Informal Science Education Centers in the New England region, we will share a new workshop model designed to help scientists “bait the hook” and effectively translate their current ocean-climate research via informal educator teams into digestible and appropriate messages that appeal to a wide range of audiences frequenting ISEs.
The workshop model is based on a dynamic and visual process of group concept mapping that evolves over the course of the multi-day event. At the end of the workshop, each participant has multiple “take home products” - unique and customized concept maps (see figure) hyperlinked to educational assets (images, videos, news items, and curriculum resources). Peer-to-peer community building and mutual professional benefits are key to the sustainability of this collaboration. Informal educators benefit not only by gaining knowledge from and interacting closely with their scientist teammates, but also by delving into the thought processes behind the scientists' discoveries. Scientists benefit from learning about educational pedagogy as well as the “real world” interests of their citizen audiences – handy skills for successfully fulfilling those NSF broader impact requirements with meaningful results! Post-interviews, evaluation data, and concept map products will be presented, as well as materials (fishing gear!) to help you run your own scientist-educator collaboration workshop in your home institution. Grab your fishing poles!
This paper (PDF, 1.57 MB) was written by Christy Herren, Annette deCharon, J. Theodore Repa, Amy Holt Cline, Carla Companion, and Deb Goodwin and presented at the 2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR.