Transformative learning and #STEM (and an #osherfellow too!)


The Giant Mirror @Exploratorium

Over the past few weeks have been beavering away on the topic of transformative learning (TL) both as a general concept and within a museum context (see the list of posts and references below).

This year, I have the privilege of being offered a stint as an Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium, SF which I’m taking up next week. Having a think about what value I can add, coupled with my adventures in TL, I’ve decided to do some research both here in Australia and at the Exploratorium under a project I’m calling Transformative Learning and #STEM (with a little #GLAM thrown in!).

One interesting paper I found developed a quantitative survey instrument to look at potential strategies that will foster TL across a range of contexts (Stuckey, et al, 2103, reported here). Having contacted the authors, they have kindly allowed me to use their instrument to measure TL experiences with a focus on #STEM learning. I plan to follow this research through when I am based at the Exploratorium to chat to staff (and maybe visitors too) in order to unpack what a TL #STEM experience might look like within the science centre / science museum environment. In this I will draw on the work of Kroth and Cranton (2014) and Pugh, et al (2017, 2010), along with any other research I may uncover. Am also reading K.C. Cole’s book too, Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens, (nice review here) which is providing further insights TL experiences at the Exploratorium.

In this first phase I am seeking interested people to complete a short(ish) online survey to tease out TL indicators for #STEM learning. Results will be shared via this blog and no individual will be identified to ease any privacy concerns. The survey is hosted by a group of researchers in Pennsylvania (Stuckey, et al, 2013) and uses their instrument developed over a number of research projects. The advantages are two-fold: the instrument is a tried and tested survey with reliability and validity issues sorted, and we can compare our findings with their larger database.

You can take the survey here – select the group called STEM Learning.

So, thanks to all participants in advance and look forward to sharing this research with you and to continue the #STEM / #GLAM transformative learning conversations.


And, in case you missed it, you can take the survey here – remember to select the group called STEM Learning.

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