Research about the teaching and learning of science at AMNH. We have hypotheses about how Museum initiatives, programs, and products are used in formal and informal learning environments. In order to evaluate these hypotheses, researchers collect evidence and analyze data. Then researchers anchor this research in other theories, gradually develop our own theories of learning, implement them in our own programs, and disseminate them. This research informs researchers' understanding of the kinds of learning that can happen, when museums and colleges collaborate, and guides ongoing efforts and new initiatives.
These efforts also help us keep abreast of developments in science education, pilot teaching tools and technologies, and forge partnerships.
Research initiatives at the Museum occur in three general contexts:
- partnerships with other institutions. For example, the Museum has an NSF-funded research partnership with Michigan State University to study how science teachers learn to analyze data in the context of the Urban Advantage professional development program.
- collaborative teacher education. This work develops evidence-based practices that emerge when teacher education programs infuse experiences and academic content from science-rich institutions in a systematic and measurable manner.
- doctoral dissertations. Several museum programs have been the subject of doctoral dissertations by educators. Published dissertations build knowledge of how museums influence teaching and learning, and locate Museum programs in the literature.
Publications related to AMNH research initiatives include:
IESP Working Paper: Can Formal-Informal Collaborations Improve Science Literacy in Urban Middle Schools?
This study by researchers at New York University reports the findings of an evaluation of Urban Advantage (UA), a partnership program designed to improve middle school students’ understanding of scientific inquiry.
This masters thesis explores four partnerships between schools and informal institutions around the country, including the Urban Advantage Middle School Science Initiative launched by the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with seven other informal institutions located in NYC.
IESP Policy Brief: Can Formal-Informal Collaborations Improve Science Literacy in Urban Middle Schools? The impact of Urban Advantage
The Institute for Education and Social Policy drew on a rich longitudinal database in this study of the Urban Advantage program.
These articles from a "Special Issue on Teacher Education and Cultural Science Institutions" from the New Educator Journal describe partnerships with AMNH.
This article in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks describes a partnership model designed to improve the ways in which teachers of science are prepared and professionally developed.
A Collaborative Diagonal Learning Network: The Role Of Formal And Informal Professional Development In Elementary Science Reform
This doctoral dissertation focused on elementary school teachers receiving professional development at an informal education institution and in school with science coaching.
Teaching and learning Science in a Museum: Examining the Role of Attitudes towards Science, Knowledge of Science, and Participatory Learning in an A...
This doctoral dissertation is an investigation of a museum-based astronomy internship for high school students.
Using Museum Resources to Enrich Urban Science Education: Teacher Agency, Identity Transformation, and Creolized Sciences
This doctoral dissertation is an ethnography that documents the experience with seven Lead Teachers in the Museum's Urban Advantage program.