1st Edition

Reflecting on Practice for STEM Educators A Guide for Museums, Out-of-school, and Other Informal Settings

By Lynn Uyen Tran, Catherine Halversen Copyright 2021
    356 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    356 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Reflecting on Practice for STEM Educators is a guidebook to lead a professional learning program for educators working in STEM learning environments.

    Making research on the science of human learning accessible to educational professionals around the world, this book shows educators how to relate this research to their own practice. Educators’ collective work broadens the scope of an organization’s reach, and through this effort, the organization grows its social capital in its local community and beyond. This book offers opportunities to engage in processes that lead toward organizational learning by attending to the professional growth of the educators. Tran and Halversen show how learning together can shape the language and meanings by which educators do and talk about their work to support visitors’ experiences. The book provides guidance on how teams of educators can build community as they engage in reflective practice.

    Reflecting on Practice for STEM Educators will be essential reading for leaders of any organization that aims to educate and engage the public in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It will be particularly useful to educators who work in museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, youth organizations, after-school programs, and nature, science, and conservation centres.


    Module 1: Learning, Reflections, and Science
    Session 1: Learning Beliefs, Behaviors and Goals 
    Session 2: Effective Reflective Practice
    Session 3: Nature and Practices of Science

    Module 2: How People Learn
    Session 1: How People Learn
    Session 2: Learners’ Prior Knowledge
    Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Prior knowledge

    Module 3: Learning Conversations
    Session 1: Talking to Learn
    Session 2: Facilitating Conversation
    Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Learning Conversations

    Module 4: Objects and Design
    Session 1: Teaching with Objects
    Session 2: Designing Learning Experiences
    Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Objects

    Appendix A: Tools for Reflective Practice
    Appendix B: Design and Teaching Tool

    On the companion website (instructor access only):
    PowerPoint slides for all sessions
    - Downloadable copies of all exercises and appendices from the book


    Lynn Uyen Tran is Research Director in the Learning and Teaching Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California Berkeley, USA. Her work focuses on relating the science of learning to teaching practices of informal educators and university faculty, and cultivating reflective practice and professional learning among these communities.

    Catherine Halversen is Senior Program Director in the Learning and Teaching Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California Berkeley, USA. Her work focuses on developing and disseminating inperson and online professional learning programs and instructional materials for STEM university/college faculty, informal educators, and K–12 teachers.

    "Reflecting on Practice is an incredibly well-designed, well-tested and effective set of materials and practices for museum professionals. It’s a course of study and application that can transform and deepen staff understandings of themselves and their visitors."
    Laura W. Martin, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Arizona Science Center

    "The Reflecting on Practice curriculum is a welcome, practical guide for advancing the informal STEM education field. It provides a detailed, research-based approach to build shared language, develop a culture of reflection, and cultivate a connected professional learning community. The timely release of this volume will help forge a post-pandemic era for our field."
    Jamie Bell, Project Director, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

    "This curriculum has the potential to transform an organization’s approach to supporting each other as staff, make structured and systematic considerations on how to deepen effective pedagogical approaches used by the staff in working with audiences. Grounded in the latest understandings of how people learn, I highly recommend this book for any leader who is authentically interested in developing a sustainable professional learning program within their organization."
    Preeti Gupta, Ph.D., Director of Youth Learning and Research, American Museum of Natural History

    "The structure and content of the Reflecting on Practice guidebook and workshop really helped us understand how to improve our practice and to be confident of conducting such sessions ourselves as facilitators for our colleagues. The guide was detailed, well organised and planned as bite sized modules to plan our internal sessions to fit our schedules. Our staff are from diverse fields and all were able to benefit from Reflecting on Practice. I would recommend it for museum educators."
    Anne Dhanaraj, Senior Director, Education Programmes, Science Centre Singapore