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McCauley, V., Davison, K. and Flynn, P.
Micro-, Meso- and Macro-Pedagogy for Innovative Science Outreach
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Policy makers internationally recognise the influential role of science in driving economic ambition and supporting innovation for future prosperity. Contemporary research indicates that in order to support this ambition there is a significant need to increase second level student engagement in science. In the Irish context, almost 95% of 20-24 year olds have at least upper second-level education, while over two-thirds of second level graduates progress to higher education the highest in Europe on both counts. Despite this, the selection of science as an examinable subject at both second and third level is less favourable. This decline in the number of students opting for science, in particular the physical sciences, in Ireland has become a concern. As key stakeholders, universities have responded with a surge of science outreach strategies and interventions to support Irish teachers and engaged citizenship for their students. We argue that teachers and teacher educators are well placed to play a strategic role in science outreach efforts by considering micro- meso- and macro-pedagogical innovations. This research will examine numerous projects that illustrate these concepts. Micro-pedagogy involves the application of effective lesson hooks, and creative engaging approaches to science teaching. Meso-pedagogy involves integrating outreach strategies into science lessons as a part of recognizing the need to build conscious science promotion into the naturalistic context of science teaching in second level education. Macro-pedagogic outreach strategies involve larger initiatives to bring science out of the classroom into the public view, working in tandem with micro- and macro-pedagogic strategies to produce meaningful learning experiences in science toward greater engagement and personal interest. This paper will highlight the critical role of teachers and teacher educators in promoting science and offer examples of micro- meso- and macro-pedagogical innovations.
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