Published March 17, 2020 | Version v1
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Exploratory study of evolution-themed, non-formal education in Europe


This exploratory study aims to describe the learning opportunities in evolution across Europe in non-formal contexts. To better understand the current situation as well as to describe the landscape in evolution-themed, lifelong learning in Europe, we in the Working Group “Informal Educators” of the EU COST Action EuroScitizen have undertaken a literature review in addition to collecting survey responses from non-formal educators and conducting interviews with a selected subset thereof.

Given the complexity of lifelong learning, improving the existing learning experiences outside of the more formal schools and universities as well as developing new and more impactful ones, requires a collaboration between any and all of evolutionary biologists, anthropologists, museum curators, educational researchers, psychologists and pedagogists, among others.

Based on our study we hold that a systematic approach is needed to improve how evolution is presented to the general public and to raise scientific literacy in this area and beyond. This approach will require improved impact assessments of existing and future activities; reconsidering the role that non-formal learning holds in transferring knowledge from cutting-edge research to the general public; and, more generally, reinforcing lifelong learning (beyond mandatory education) to improve the scientific literacy of all European citizens.


Peer feedback on the final report: Justin Dillon, Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds | Interviewers: Helene Hoemsnes, Sille Holm, Tamara Milosevic, Silvia Paolucci, Davorka Radovčić, Joana Rios, Uroš Savković, Asimakis Talamagas | Analysis of interviews: Tamara Milosevic, Davorka Radovčić | Literature analysis: Tanja Adnađević, Johan Barstad, Bento Cavadas, Helene Hoemsnes, Sille Holm, Alex Jeffries, Bojan Kenig, Lucia Martinelli, Tamara Milosevic, Teresa Nogueira, Ágústa Pálsdóttir, Silvia Paolucci, Davorka Radovčić, Nuno Ribeiro, Joana Rios, Xana Sá Pinto, Uroš Savković | Survey analysis: Johan Barstad, Tamara Milosevic | Survey construction (Porto and Paris WG3 meeting, February and April 2019): Alex Jeffries, Guillaume Lecointre, Tamara Milosevic, Yamama Naciri, Davorka Radovčić, Uroš Savković, Özgül Yahyaoğlu, Martha Georgiou | Design of the study and initial draft (Split WG3 meeting, September 2019): Tanja Adnađević, Johan Barstad, Bento Cavadas, Romain Dewaele, Helene Hoemsnes, Sille Holm, Alex Jeffries, Lucia Martinelli, Tamara Milosevic, Teresa Nogueira, Ágústa Pálsdóttir, Silvia Paolucci, Juris Porozovs, Davorka Radovčić, Nuno Ribeiro, Joana Rios, Xana Sá Pinto, Uroš Savković, Asimakis Talamagas


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