Evaluating NESTA's support for science learning.

Davies, D (2007) 'Evaluating NESTA's support for science learning.' Evaluation and Research in Education, 20 (1). pp. 3-31. ISSN 0950-0790

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2167/eri396.0


This paper reports on a commissioned research project to evaluate the impact of support (mainly funding) given by the UK Government's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to various projects under the general heading of ‘science learning’ over a four-year period (2000–2004). Findings emerging from the study indicate that NESTA is an imaginative and risk-taking project funder, supporting innovative approaches to science education, typically involving special events or producing web-based resources or other e-learning outcomes, characteristically with strong environmental, technological or creative themes. However, the article also reports on methodological and theoretical issues emerging from a medium-scale, largely retrospective evaluation, such as the pros and cons of a ‘multi-method’ approach (Saxe & Fine, 1979; Bennet, 2003); the need to construct a methodology that would be acceptable to the commissioning body, and the extent to which findings can be set within ‘theories of change’ frameworks proposed by Fullan (2001) and Harlen and Kinder (1997).

Item Type: Article

This article is set within the field of enquiry of science education, specifically the public understanding of science and development of innovative approaches funded by a quasi-governmental body. Its theoretical perspective is informed by the educational change model proposed by Fullan (2001). It reports on a medium-scale evaluation study, undertaken using a multi-method approach. Its original contribution to theory lies in the issues identified in the client-researcher relationship. It is significant in that it is drawn from a larger report of a funded study which is cited in a national report 'Real Science' (NESTA 2005). Data from multiple sources (documentary, survey, interview, case study) have been triangulated and validated against each other to provide rigour. The article was separately refereed by two international referees.

Keywords: science, learning, external, change, multi-method
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.2167/eri396.0
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:31
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/97
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