Experiences of teachers who have engaged their classrooms in citizen science activities

Aristeidou, Maria and Ismail, Nashwa (2021). Experiences of teachers who have engaged their classrooms in citizen science activities. In: Citizen Science Association Conference, May 2021, Virtual.

Abstract

Despite the current focus on understanding what and how young people learn when participating in Citizen Science (CS) activities, teachers’ involvement and experience have received less attention. This study explored the experiences of teachers who have engaged their classrooms in CS activities. The main findings from 56 survey responses and 11 interviews indicate that teachers’ motivations are mainly to improve their professional development, to communicate with scientists and researchers, and to develop students’ skills and knowledge. Teachers engage in many types of CS projects and initiate collaborative activities with local and other science groups, universities, and other schools. Teachers use a range of teaching approaches such as hands-on experience, linking curriculum to daily life, collaborative learning, and parental engagement. Challenges that teachers confront include institutional bureaucracy, limited resources, and lack of student motivation. Insights from this study contribute to raising awareness of CS projects and designing more engaging activities for classrooms.

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