Research and Design of Informal Science Learning is a practicum course
designed to give you the skills and perspective to study human learning
and development as these processes unfold in environments and situations that people
day to day lives
(work, school, after school, as opposed to controlled laboratory
settings). In this case the everyday setting is a once-a-week
collaborative urban fishery project being implemented for the first
time in a local San Diego high school. Your focus will be on studying
how the students participating in the project learn the concepts and
practices introduced to them throughout the course of the activity.
This practicum combines seminar style discussion and participatory
ehnography. A sgnificant part of your training will involve learning by
will join two of eight high school student teams as they are taught to
build an aquaponics system. By working with the students you will be
uniquely positioned to study their learning as well as your own. The
course will provide you with the tools to carefully observe and
document your own and other’s participation in
ongoing activities of the project
The qualitative research skills you acquire in this course will help
you evaluate theories of learning, communication, and development.
your participation in this practicum will enhance your interpersonal
as well as skills necessary for conducting qualitative research (e.g.
expository & narrative writing, data analysis). The aim of this
not only to teach you how to conduct social science field research in a
skillful and ethical way, but also to connect you with the local
community in a
way that helps you realize that this community and the communities to
belong are interdependent.
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Kearny High
Wednesdays, 8:45 -
11:45 am, Kearny High School.
Writing and submitting. You are required to
write field notes that document your experiences in the KHS/UCSD
Your notes should be written and submitted within 36 hrs. of your
A guide for how to write your field notes
(including a description of
how field notes are evaluated) is available here.
A guide for uploading your field notes
is available here.
You must go to the following website to submit your notes: http://fieldnotes.ucsd.edu.
Sample field notes are avaialble here: sample
Reading and Commenting.
In addition to writing and
submitting your field notes you are required
to read your classmates field notes. You will be assigned different
reading buddies over the course of the quarter. Pairing will
over the course of the quarter so that you read everyone's field notes
quarter you will be
assigned one of the course readings and asked to lead discussion about
it. You are free to lead the discussion however you like (e.g. using
power point, bringing in media examples to motivate discussion, like
relevant youtube videos, etc.) Prior to leading discussion, you must
email me your responses to the questions included in the Guidelines for
Unpacking Readings (this counts toward your participation). You can do
this as late as the night before you present.
Course final project
Choose one of the following:
- Case study proposal with example based on experiences from
participation in the extension course
- Mixed media project focused on developmental documentation of the
project (e.g. time lapse video, documentation of one auquaponics
system over time).
- Self-reflection paper examining what and how you learned over the
course of the project..
A document providing guidelines for how to prepare and produce each of
these projects will be posted HERE shortly.
Final Project Portfolio
1. All submitted field notes
2. All submitted comments to field notes
3. Course Project
****** FINAL PORTFOLIO DUE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 5 pm VIA EMAIL ****
Advising & Email
Check the email you use for school-related purposes regularly. I
frequently use email to communicate with the class
about assignments, organizational work, etc.
I encourage you to email me whenever you have any
questions, doubts, concerns. Allow 48 hours for me to respond to
emails. If I don’t respond within 48 hrs., you may email me again to
- Overview of the UCSD green technologies extension course at
Kearny High School (KHS)
- San Diego-specific
history of designing informal learning
activities through university-community
- How to write
WEEK 2 ( January 16 ): What are we
doing at Kearny and Why? What are we researching?(back
NOTE - CHANGE IN MEETING TIME &
PLACE (this week and the following):
Social Science Reseach Building, Rm. 308, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
- Education reform and the idea of the Engaged University
learning, formal and informal
- History of Kearny High
School, its surroundings, and topics covered in the extension course
Fine, G. A. & Sandstrom, K. L. (1988). Participant observation with
adolescents. In G. A. Fine & K. L. Sandstrom (Eds.) Knowing
Children: Participant Observation with Minors (pp. 59 – 71).
Park, CA: Sage Publications. Jordan
WEEK 5 (February 6): Science education & Sociocultural
to top) Discussion: -
Sociocultural theories and science education.
- Mediation as a
concept for thinking about thinking.
- Culture and cognition as
- Comparing impressions: Week 4
vs. Week 5
WEEK 6 (February 13): Adolescent Development: Self-identity,
morals, and cognition (back
NOTE: Early Exit Day at KHS
Discussion: - The intersection of moral development,
cognitive developent, and identity formation in adolesence
- Relating environmental science to the
question of morality, cognition, identity
- Comparing impressions: period 1 vs. period
2; projects 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 vs. 4
- Thinking ahead: Course
Final Project discussion
WEEK 8: February 27: Survey of informal science education
research; The question of assessment (back
to top) Discussion:
- The varieties of informal learning activities
- How do we assess informal
- How do we design informal learning activities
that are "assessable"?