Outside the Pipeline: Reimagining Science Education for Nonscientists

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Science  19 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6130, pp. 314-317
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230855

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Educational policy increasingly emphasizes knowledge and skills for the preprofessional “science pipeline” rather than helping students use science in daily life. We synthesize research on public engagement with science to develop a research-based plan for cultivating competent outsiders: nonscientists who can access and make sense of science relevant to their lives. Schools should help students access and interpret the science they need in response to specific practical problems, judge the credibility of scientific claims based on both evidence and institutional cues, and cultivate deep amateur involvement in science.

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