A Place for Informal Educators
We’re so glad you’re here!
Every week, I talk with an informal science educator from around the world – coaches, museum educators, guides, naturalists, music teachers, and more.
No, it’s not a typo for effective. Affective means something like able to affect, or touch, the soul. Some use it as a synonym for emotional or attitudinal. An affective experience can change your mood or make you have a deep feeling about a topic. Here’s what research shows us: Learners engage with topics in (at least) three different ways: behaviorally, cognitively, and, affectively. Behavioral engagement characterizes what you are doing as you are learning.
On this week’s podcast I talk with marine scientist and educator Lacie Ownbey of the Indianapolis Zoo. We talk mostly about a specific kind of learner engagement: one that is authentic – related to real-life science concepts. Engaging with content directly gives students, especially young ones, an emotional – or affective – connection with the material. You, because you’re a lava monster. Made by me. I’ve been a little obsessed with DALL-E… Affective Engagement Incidentally, affective engagement is my jargon word of the week – check out the jargon blog post for what this word can mean for you and your teaching.
Check it Out!
This week, I talk with Jim DePompei of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in Los Angeles. This storied facility was founded over 75 years ago, so generations of locals have experienced its tanks and displays. What most (including me) remember, though, is the grunion dance. Grunion in the sand Grunion! Back in the 1950s, one of the early aquarium directors named John Olguin started a program of teaching about grunion. Grunion are silversides – small fish in the smelt family – and pretty unremarkable except for this one thing: they dance.
A Community of Practice
We want to create a community of practice for informal educators: people who teach outside a traditional classroom.