Weaving New Threads into the Geoscience Community of Practice: Insights from Lightning Interviews at the EER 2015, 2016 and 2017

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Poster Session


Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
One goal of the Earth Educators' Rendezvous is to strengthen the Geo-Ed community of practice. A CoP is a group of people who share a passion for something they do, and build capacity for this practice through their interactions. During the Rendezvous of 2015, 2016 and 2017, I conducted lightning interviews with hundreds of conferees, probing whether and how the Rendezvous might be strengthening the Geo-Ed CoP. Questions were informed by an emerging model (Kastens & Manduca, 2017) that envisions CoP's as powered by reinforcing feedback loops.

In 2015, 92% of the interviewed conferees said that, yes, they had met someone at the Rendezvous whom they would like to collaborate with, continue to be in touch with, or work with after the meeting. Most often mentioned forms of desired interactions were exchanging ideas and resources around teaching, or around science education research.

The 2016 interviews probed the perceived balance between getting value out of the meeting and giving back to the meeting, and satisfaction with that balance. Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported that they had both given and gotten, with "getting" outweighing "giving" for most respondents (69%). All but a few (89%) were satisfied with their perceived balance. Newcomers reported higher get:give ratios, while workshop veterans tended more towards giving.

In 2017, interviews explored whether the Rendezvous was fostering collegial feelings of belonging and accomplishment that could contribute to desire to give back to the community. When asked for three words or phrases characterizing their Rendezvous experience, prominent themes were "community," "energized/inspired," and "collaboration." Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that their motivation to contribute to future Rendezvous was 4 or above on a scale of 5.

Collectively, these findings suggest that the Rendezvous is fulfilling its intended role of contributing to the development of a GeoEd CoP.

Presentation Media

Kastens' EER 2018 Poster (Acrobat (PDF) 473kB Jul16 18)