Research News

Feinstein gives keynote at European science education research conference

September 11, 2015

UW-Madison’s Noah Weeth Feinstein earlier this month delivered a keynote presentation at the 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association in Helsinki, Finland.

Feinstein is an associate professor with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Feinstein’s address, delivered on Sept. 2, was titled, “Evidence of value: Confronting the long-range validity problem of science education.”

Noah Weeth Feinstein
Noah Weeth Feinstein speaks in Helsinki, Finland,
on Sept. 2 at the Conference of the European
Science Education Research Association. (Photo
by Markus Juvonen via ESERA 2015 Halsinki
Conference Facebook page.)
The conference website explains how Feinstein’s work "explores the value of science in the social and political lives of non-scientist citizens. He is interested in identifying and developing social mechanisms, through which scientific institutions and practices can make societies more, rather than less, democratic, and he believes that some of those mechanisms are educational in nature. Feinstein's current projects focus on public engagement with science among parents of recently diagnosed autistic children, the contribution of learning (writ large) to climate change adaptation, the impact of changing scientific practices on scientist outreach, and the need for museums and science centers to forge better connections with their diverse communities.”

About 1,400 professors and graduate students from Europe and beyond attended the conference, says Feinstein.

The conference was hosted by the University of Helsinki and included a theme of, “Engaging Learners for Sustainable Future.” The conference website notes how this theme “underlines aspects of great relevance in contemporary science education research: the need to reflect on different approaches to enhancing our knowledge of learning processes and the role of context, designed or circumstantial, formal or non-formal, in learning and instruction. Highlighting these themes does not mean underestimating or neglecting other important aspects of science education research and practice.”