Scientific Research and Ecology Education
organized by M. Krasny, C. Brewer, and D. Ebert-May at the
88th Annual Meetings of the Ecological Society of America.
Savannah, GA, 2003.
The purpose of
this symposium is to explore ways in which university scientists
and educators are collaborating to develop educational programs,
and to address the related issues of scholarship, evaluation,
and integrating outreach, teaching, and research. Recent
increases in funding opportunities and in pressure from
government and private foundations have resulted in a proliferation
of educational programs tied to university scientific research.
However, opportunities to learn through these efforts about
how universities can best impact and improve education along
the K-16 continuum are limited by the dispersed nature of
the programs and by the lack of a related research agenda.
An additional challenge is that scientists being asked to
conduct outreach programs may lack experience working with
the K-12 audience, and outreach often is not integrated
with the university research and teaching functions.
will address the following questions: How might national
science education reform impact our undergraduate and K-12
education efforts? How can we integrate our undergraduate
education and K-12 outreach programs with scientific research
and graduate student training? What are the impacts of educational
programs on the school students and teachers, and on university
students and faculty? How might we evaluate such programs
and what evidence will we accept that programs are having
an impact? Finally, we will synthesize the ideas presented
in the symposium, and make recommendations for the future
of university education and outreach programs.