Learning Science Everywhere!

The option in Informal Science Education is aimed at educators currently working in non-classroom settings such as museums, zoos, and nature centers, as well as those charged with fostering the public understanding of science.  Graduates enrolled in this program will strengthen their understanding of science, gain a deeper conception of the objectives and theories of science education, and examine the contexts of learning beyond the traditional classroom.  This option is ideal for informal educators who wish to better understand and facilitate the learning that occurs within their institution. Students completing this option will be prepared to assume positions of greater science leadership within their institutions, or go on to further graduate study in science education.

Science educators in the museum setting often come from a variety of backgrounds—some have majors in science, others in education, and still others simply have a strong personal interest in science.  In many cases, these educators become generalists.  They learn a little bit about many different topics, depending on their institution’s emphasis (e.g. marine biology, paleontology, physics, etc.)  Interactions with visitors involves conveying this science content, although these interactions may or may not be informed by effective pedagogy or how the content is most effectively learned.

Through this option, the graduate will understand the major issues and theoretical perspectives in science education, for both K-12 schooling and informal settings. Students will synthesize what they have learned from their coursework by completing a research thesis or approved scholarly project.  Students may ultimately investigate questions important to the field of informal science education, or may choose to examine questions of more local concern to a particular science museum or similar setting.

This degree option—like science education—is interdisciplinary.  Students will take courses from within the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Education, and Health and Human Services.  The course of study for this option requires 33 units, 6 of which are related to independent study and thesis preparation.


M.S. in Science Education at CSULB

Option in Informal Science Education

In the fall of 2006, the Science Education Department at CSU Long Beach welcomed its first M.S. students for the Informal Science Education Option.

CSULB is one of only a handful of universities that offers a graduate degree in informal science education.

The Science Education Department at CSULB is the largest in the state with eight full-time science educators and more than a dozen part-time instructors.

For more information on the the CSULB Science Education M.S. program, click here or check out our website at www.scienceteaching.org

For a copy of the program application, click here

For specific questions regarding the Informal Science Education Option, contact Dr. Jim Kisiel at jkisiel@csulb.edu

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