AWAKENING DIALOGUES — Advancing Science Education Research Practices and Policies
This year’s NARST Annual International Conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from March 30 – April 2, 2014 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. The theme for this year’s conference, “Awakening Dialogues: Advancing Science Education Research, Practices, and Policies,” is aimed at inspiring the kinds of discussions that sharpen our own and each others’ understandings – that help us frame new inquires and reframe existing ones. I hope this theme encourages members to talk about not only the longstanding issues that impose limitations on progress in our field, but also hopeful directions for addressing such challenges and issues—and that we do so in such a way that we do not disparage conflicting or contradictory views.
There will be many opportunities to awaken dialogues at the conference, given the high quality of the pre-conference workshops, symposia, sponsored sessions, paper sessions, and interactive poster sessions that constitute this year’s program. The Research Interest Group meetings, Graduate Student Forum, Mentor/Mentee Nexus, Business Meeting, receptions and other such events will provide even more opportunities to forge collaborations, consider new perspectives and tackle challenging issues. Thus, I would like to extend an invitation not only to attend the conference, but also to prepare for participation in the many dialogues that will be occurring at the conference. My invitation to “prepare for participation” refers to more than solely getting our papers written and PowerPoints designed. I am suggesting to intentionally prepare for the opportunities that will present themselves when we, people from various walks of life and worldviews, convene to advance the mission of “improving the teaching and learning of science through research.”