Where to start: Roles for scientists in education
Scientists can take on a variety of roles in working with education--you don't need to be able to handle a class full of lively third graders! Many scientists begin by working directly with students or teachers in schools. Some go on to support systemic reform, offer teacher education, help to develop instructional materials, or work with museums, planetaria, and after-school programs. These resources describe the variety of ways to become involved.
A good place to start! Materials developed by RISE, a project of the National Research Council (unfortunately no longer active), give an excellent overview of four basic roles for scientists: working directly with students, working with teachers, supporting systemic reform, and helping develop instructional materials. In each of the four categories, start with the basic information under "Is This Role for You?" [ nas.edu ]
This brief paper clarifies why it is important for scientists to use the National Science Education Standards as a framework for their education work. Figure 1 summarizes different levels and venues in which scientists can become involved with formal and informal education, teacher education, and systemic change—it may give you some new ideas for ways to become involved.
Rodger W. Bybee and Cherilynn A. Morrow (1998). "Improving science education: The role of scientists." Fall 1998 newsletter of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society [ PDF ]
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