Arts-Based Learning in Informal Science Education
The Gertrude Stein Repertory Theatre (doing business as the Learning World Institute), in collaboration with informal science education venues, universities, and corporations in Chicago, San Diego, and Washington, D.C., is organizing a set of three professional conferences and a web site to encourage stronger national and local communities of practice around the application of arts-based learning (ABL) to informal science education. Arts-based learning is the instrumental use of artistic skills, processes, and experiences to foster learning in non-artistic disciplines. The goal is to apply ABL to informal science education in ways that can foster the acquisition of STEM skills that are important in today's workforce. The set of conferences, with a total attendance of 750, will focus on an understanding of current and potential ABL applications to workforce skill development, opportunities to practice ABL directly, and creation of a research agenda on the impact of ABL on science education. The web site (funded through other sources) will help conference attendees prepare for the workshops, provide opportunities for networking, aggregate resources, and host the research agenda.