Sea Grant Professorship in Free-Choice Learning (2012-14)

John Falk and Lynn Dierking
Science and Math Education
Oregon State University
237 and 235 Weniger Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-6508
Phone: 541-737-1826 (John) 541-737-1823 (Lynn)
Email: Dr. Falk | Dr. Dierking

Oregon Sea Grant dedicated special funding over a five-year period to establish a Sea Grant professorship at Oregon State University, helping to establish a free-choice learning focus area for students in the Master's Degree program at OSU's Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Shared jointly by Lynn Dierking and John Falk, the professorship uses the theme of ocean and coastal science to focus on research, teaching and pedagogy in free-choice learning.

Most of what we know, we learn outside the classroom, and we continue to learn throughout our lives by free choice. As a nation, we have made and continue to make a substantial investment in providing learning opportunities for the public in a wide variety of venues such as museums, aquaria, and interpretive centers. At the same time, an enormous quantity of printed material, videos, films, and other media is produced and distributed annually for the purpose of public education. Yet there is relatively little effort underway to advance the art and science of public education through research and teaching in such free-choice learning.

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