When considering the topic of this column, I stumbled across a debate that has persisted for quite some time in the science education domain, one that has been considered by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, AAAS, NSF, and other respected organizations around the world. The subject is the extent to which the history of science should be incorporated into the teaching of science. (more…)
When we last checked in with you on February 18, the U.S. House of Representatives was in the process of completing work on a fifth “continuing resolution” (CR) that would keep the federal government operating between March 4 (when the fourth CR expires) and the end of fiscal year 2011 on September 30. I’m writing to update you on where things stand and what we might expect in the future.
The U.S. House of Representatives is currently debating the bill to fund the federal government for the rest of the current fiscal year (FY11), which began on October 1, 2010. Of the nearly 600 amendments to the bill (H.R. 1), two in particular have immediate, and potentially highly negative, impact on non-federal museums.
Since its founding in 1973, ASTC has been committed to increasing the engagement of all people with science. In support of this commitment, we have implemented a variety of projects to improve members’ understanding of and skills to reach diverse communities. Ten years ago, the ASTC Board formalized this commitment by ratifying the ASTC Equity and Diversity Initiative. Instituted to realize the Board’s vision of ASTC and its member institutions as models of excellence in inclusion, the initiative focuses activities around five components: leadership support, assessment, communication, professional development, and career pipeline/recruitment. ASTC has accomplished much during these first 10 years, including establishing and continuing to support the ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program, and becoming the only museum association with full-time staff solely dedicated to furthering issues of equity and diversity.
“I don’t get it.” This phrase, to students and educators alike, can signal intense frustration, or it can represent the starting gun for an exciting sprint toward new knowledge. Sometimes “I don’t get it” means “I’m not interested”; sometimes, it means “I thought something different”; and sometimes, it simply means, “I can’t conceive of it in the form in which it’s being presented.” In every instance, science centers and the activities that they offer can be instrumental in transforming “I don’t get it” into opportunities for understanding and engagement. (more…)