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Public expectations of universities and government agencies in terms of good science communication have undergone a paradigm shift from models focused on timely delivery of information to the joint construction of meaning through various types of engagement. It is no longer sufficient to simply know ones audience and craft a better message for them. Rather, communicators are often expected to engage audiences in mutual learning about complex issues that will support better learning, understanding, and decision making. This presentation focuses on what research on how adults learn when they have choice and control in learning can contribute to climate change communications tools. In particular, Dr. Rowe will discuss the role of visible thinking routines as assessment and learning tools for individual and group learning in decision making and communication contexts.

Speaker Bio

Shawn Rowe holds a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis where his work with museums led him to his current interest in lifelong free-choice learning in informal science education contexts. His background in applied linguistics and educational psychology, in particular the work of Lev Vygotsky has led to a research focus on discourse – in particular how learners come to take on particular ways of thinking by taking on particular ways of talking and acting in contexts where learning may be secondary to other activities like having fun or making decisions. As Marine Education Learning Specialist for Oregon Sea Grant, Dr. Rowe heads up research and evaluation at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitors Center. As Assistant Professor in the Department of Science and Math Education, Dr. Rowe works with graduate students studying learning and teaching. In addition to his current research on learning from interactions with live animals and understanding of complex scientific visualizations, Dr. Rowe is co-director of the NSF funded Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, Pacific Partnerships.
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Funding provided by the Climate Program Office, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
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