Noah Feinstein

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Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
UW-Madison
210 Teacher Education Building
225 North Mills Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.4600
Fax: 608/263.9992

Email: curric@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
 

Noah Weeth Feinstein

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Noah Weeth Feinstein

Associate Professor
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

Associate Professor
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

226-B Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon
225 N MILLS ST
MADISON, WI 53706-1707
Office: 608/262-6288
Fax: 608/263-9992

nfeinstein@wisc.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

I study how people make sense of science in their personal, social, and political lives — and how educational platform such as schools to museums can help. I recently contributed to a National Academies report on science literacy, and am currently studying how science museums seek to become more equitable institutions. I also write about environmental and sustainability education, public knowledge, and educational responses to the “post-truth era,” and have become increasingly interested in the role of education in climate change adaptation. My work is usually classified under headings like “informal science education” and “public engagement with science,” but I think of myself as a scholar of Science and Technology Studies (STS) who works on problems related to learning, education, and social change.


Education

Ph D, Science Education
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

MS, Biological Sciences, Neural development
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

BA, Biological Sciences
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA


Scheduled Teaching

  • Spring 2013 - Scholarship & Practice in Environmental & Sustainability Education
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 675, Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Spring 2013 - Sustainability, Democracy, and Education
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 375, Course Level: Undergraduate
     
  • Spring 2012 - Science in Daily Life: Literacy, Understanding, and Engagement
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 675, Maximum Credit Hours: 3, Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Fall 2011 - Foundations of Agricultural and Environmental Science Education
    Course Level: Undergraduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Fall 2011 - Graduate Seminar in Science Education
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 960, Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Spring 2010 - Interdisciplinarity and the Modern Research University
    Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Spring 2010 - Science Studies and Science Education
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 975, Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     
  • Fall 2009 - Signature Pedagogies in Agricultural and Environmental Science Education
     
  • Spring 2009 - Foundations of Agricultural and Environmental Science Education
     
  • Fall 2008 - Science in Daily Life: Literacy, Understanding, and Engagement
    Course Prefix: 272, Course Number: 675, Course Level: Graduate, Course Delivery Mode: Seminar
     

Research Interests

science literacy, public engagement with science, informal science education, education for sustainability, climate change, equity in science education, science and technology studies, interdisciplinarity

Publications

  • Feinstein, N.R. (2017). Equity and the Meaning of Science Learning: A defining challenge for science museums. Science Education. 101(4), 533-538.
    Abstract: This exploratory study examines the significance of science to parents whose children were recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It asks: (1) In what manner did science emerge in parents’ concerns and resources as they attempted to understand and advocate for their children? (2) Did some parents engage with science in a qualitatively deeper or more intense manner? Using longitudinal data from interviews and a novel data collection strategy called engagement mapping, it shows that parents asked questions and used resources that were strongly associated with science, but these were vastly outnumbered by “near-science” concerns and resources that mingled meanings from science and daily life. Several parents in the study wove together concerns and resources in an iterative pattern referred to here as progressive engagement with science.
  • Feinstein, N.R., Bromme, R., Barzilai, S., & Baram-Tsabari, A. (2017). What counts as success in public engagement with science? Public Understanding of Science.
    Online Publication/Abstract
    Abstract: This exploratory study examines the significance of science to parents whose children were recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It asks: (1) In what manner did science emerge in parents’ concerns and resources as they attempted to understand and advocate for their children? (2) Did some parents engage with science in a qualitatively deeper or more intense manner? Using longitudinal data from interviews and a novel data collection strategy called engagement mapping, it shows that parents asked questions and used resources that were strongly associated with science, but these were vastly outnumbered by “near-science” concerns and resources that mingled meanings from science and daily life. Several parents in the study wove together concerns and resources in an iterative pattern referred to here as progressive engagement with science.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2016). Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. Washington, DC: National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, National Academies Press.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2015). Education, communication, and science in the public sphere. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 52(2), 145-163.
  • Feinstein, N.R., & Kirchgasler, K. (2015). Sustainability in science education? How the Next Generation Science Standards approach sustainability, and why it matters. Science Education. 99(1), 121–144.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2014). Making sense of autism: Progressive engagement with science among parents of young, recently diagnosed autistic children. Public Understanding of Science. 23(5), 592-609.
    Abstract: This exploratory study examines the significance of science to parents whose children were recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It asks: (1) In what manner did science emerge in parents’ concerns and resources as they attempted to understand and advocate for their children? (2) Did some parents engage with science in a qualitatively deeper or more intense manner? Using longitudinal data from interviews and a novel data collection strategy called engagement mapping, it shows that parents asked questions and used resources that were strongly associated with science, but these were vastly outnumbered by “near-science” concerns and resources that mingled meanings from science and daily life. Several parents in the study wove together concerns and resources in an iterative pattern referred to here as progressive engagement with science.
    Download Publication
  • Feinstein, N.R., Allen, S., & Jenkins, E. (2013). Outside the Pipeline: Reimagining Science Education for Nonscientists. Science. 340(6130), 314-317.
    Online Publication/Abstract
    Abstract: Educational policy increasingly emphasizes knowledge and skills for the preprofessional “science pipeline” rather than helping students use science in daily life. We synthesize research on public engagement with science to develop a research-based plan for cultivating competent outsiders: nonscientists who can access and make sense of science relevant to their lives. Schools should help students access and interpret the science they need in response to specific practical problems, judge the credibility of scientific claims based on both evidence and institutional cues, and cultivate deep amateur involvement in science.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2011). Salvaging science literacy. Science Education. 95(1), 168-185.
    Abstract: There is little evidence that the prevailing strategies of science education have an impact on the use and interpretation of science in daily life. Most science educators and science education researchers nonetheless believe that science education is intrinsically useful for students who do not go on to scientific or technical careers. This essay focuses on the “usefulness” aspect of science literacy, which I contend has largely been reduced to a rhetorical claim. A truly useful version of science literacy must be connected to the real uses of science in daily life—what is sometimes called public engagement with science. A small number of science education researchers have already begun to connect science education and the broader field of public engagement with science. Their work, as well as the work of researchers who study public engagement, suggests that it is possible to salvage the “usefulness” of science literacy by helping students become competent outsiders with respect to science.
  • Halverson, R.R., Feinstein, N.R., & Meshoulam, D. (2011). School Leadership for Science Education. In George DeBoer (Eds.), The Role of Public Policy in K-12 Science Education. Greenwich, CT, USA: Information Age Publishing.
    Download Publication

Presentations

  • Feinstein, N.R. (2019). Boundary Work and Racialized Discourse in Museums’ Decisions to Host an Exhibition on Race, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2019). Choosing to Change? Interpretive Framing of a Traveling Exhibition Affects its Impact on Hosting Museums, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2018). Getting Over “Truth,” or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Post-Truth World, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2018). How Does Reflection Mediate Organizational Change in Museums? Applying the Double-Loop Model to Informal Environments, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2018). Museums and Structural Racism: What can (and should) be done?, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2018, February 18). Collective Science Literacy, Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Austin, TX.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2017, October 23). Fighting for Progress on Equity and Inclusion at Science Centers in the USA and Europe, Association of Science and Technology Centers, San Jose, CA.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2017, June 27). Science Literacy and the Structure of Engagement Experiences, Public Engagement with Science Online – A Research Workshop, Israel Science Foundation, Haifa, Israel.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2017, April 30). Climate change adaptation and the necessary synergy of science and social studies, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio, TX.
  • Feinstein, N.R. (2015). Evidence of value? Confronting the long-term validity problem of science education, 2015 meeting of the European Science Education Research Association, Helsinki, Finland.
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