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.
Pretty easy one this week – inclusion! Inclusion means making sure all learners are able to access learning equitably. Enough Said? Well, of course not. First off, what does equitably mean? Equity? Interaction Institute for Social Change, Artist: Angus Maguire. CC-BY 4.0 Most of us are familiar with the meme showing three kids looking over a ballpark fence. In the first frame, titled equality, the three are each standing on one milk crate, so the tall kid has a great view, the middle-height kid has a decent view, and the short kid can’t see anything but a fence board.
How can our informal education sites and programs include everyone? It’s a question we all wrestle with. Remember how last week’s guest, Elise McFarland, described teaching about California’s Spanish missions to young visitors who might have roots in Mexican, European, Native, African, Asian, and Catholic communities – all of whom have a very different take on the mission history?1 Explainer-Facilitator Gianna Canamar with Exploratorium visitors ©The Exploratorium; used by permission.
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.