SIG 3: Structuring Higher Education Partnerships with Science Education Learning Centres

This symposium focuses on structuring productive partnerships with science educational learning centres (SELCs). SELCs are inclusive of different types of museum spaces, zoos and specialised science content or experience providing sites.

This series of papers purports to present a series of frameworks for differing types of partnership experiences with science education learning centres. The papers report on working collaborations that are focused on collegiately-enacted research-based experiences, and refinement of learning experiences and approaches to structuring learning partnerships. These diverse range of partnership models are indicative of opportunities that have been made possible, and highlight opportunities also that perhaps have been missed.

The papers report on SELC partnerships as places that have potential to be negotiated for the benefit of science education, and especially for pre-service teachers. They point to different perspectives of offering science education as multi-faceted learning opportunities to pre-service teachers. SELCs have responsibilities and accountabilities to many stakeholders, including funding expectations and changing community interests and values. In order to develop productive partnerships all participants need clear roles, and understandings of the responsibilities and accountabilities of the other.

There is a call for a clearer explicit structure/framework as well as a shared understanding of a learning research agenda. These offer considerable support in helping to empower stakeholders and assist to create the outputs that suit the different partnership members.

Perspectives of practitioners and researchers are presented with a view to developing effective collaborators and improving the benefits that are possible for all stakeholders. The findings of each paper indicate immediate benefits and possible long term gains for members of SELC and university partnerships.