The dictionary defines “vision” as 1) being able to see; 2) a mental image of what the future could be like; and 3) an experience of seeing something in a dream.
I think the education team ran through all three of these as we wrote our education vision for CosmoQuest.
It took us a while to get it right – imagine three educators trying to write one lesson plan – because we wanted to make sure it would be clear to everyone from the first click that the primary purpose of CosmoQuest is to create excitement about learning. What could be more exciting for our students than participating in real science research? What could be more exciting for teachers than to find a supportive community of astronomers to help them meet science standards?
We started with the able to see definition: see what’s already available, see where the gaps were, and see what teachers really need to teach astronomy in today’s schools. Then we had to agree on our mental image of the future. That was easy – we all had an image of an online community where students, teachers, scientists, and citizen scientists shared equally in discussions about science and inquiry. And we knew that mentoring and helping each other to learn more science and do more science would be important components of CosmoQuest. As we worked through our ideas, we had that experience of seeing something in a dream: as plans began to take shape, the possibilities began to snowball, from the wild and crazy to the simple and sublime.
Check out our education vision at http://cosmoquest.org/Education_Vision. We’re hoping that it’s your vision, too.