Three educators working collaboratively.

How does the program work?

Two educators from education or volunteer departments at the institution attend a Reflecting on Practice Coaching Workshop to become RoP Facilitators.

Continued Learning: Attend coaching workshop; Implement Reflecting on Practice; Integrate Reflecting on Practice

In the Coaching Workshop


  • learn about the latest research on learning and teaching;
  • become familiar with the philosophy and design of the Reflecting on Practice program, including experiencing several of the activities and discussions from the program;
  • receive the comprehensive Reflecting on Practice curriculum and supporting materials; and
  • connect with other RoP Facilitators from around the country.


Following the Coaching Workshop, RoP Facilitators implement the program with educators at their institution, at their own pace, over a period of 6 to 12 months, continuing to broaden their own practice as they go through the program with colleagues.

Reflecting on Practice is designed so that all educators (veteran and beginning, full-time and part-time, seasonal and career) within an institution can learn together and from one another.


RoP Facilitators become part of a field-wide community of educators advancing the role and excellence of informal science education. This community not only fosters common language and effective practices in the field of informal science learning, but also serves as a mutual support system for all facilitators throughout their careers.

How is the program structured?

Reflecting on Practice is a modular program. Each module focuses on a topic relevant and critical to the practice of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in informal environments.

Current modules: How People Learn, Learning Reflection & Science, Learning Conversations, and Objects & Design; Coming soon: Decision Making Behavior Change & Diversity Access Inclusion

Modules on diversity and learning and decision making and conservation are under development.


Module 2 onwards also incorporates discrete video-reflection sessions in which participants review and improve their practice together.

Interactive Sessions

Interactive sessions are 2.5 hours in duration. Each module includes one
interactive session for Core Content and another for Advanced Study.

The sessions are designed to engage participants in activities and discussions on learning and teaching—both drawing on their personal and professional experiences and integrating research from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, education, and sociology.

Participants are encouraged to candidly and safely express their beliefs and understanding; review their habits and assumptions; and determine how to apply research into their practice.


Video reflection sessions are 2 to 2.5 hours in duration. Each module from Module 2 onwards includes one video reflection session for the whole community, and at least one other in which participants meet in small, critical-colleague groups.

The Reflecting on Practice design uses research-based evidence on the effectiveness of such sharing of practice within a community.

By using video clips of their real-world interactions to reflect on their practice and draw on facilitated observations and feedback from colleagues, participants experience profound change in their teaching habits and mindsets.

What’s in the program?

The Reflecting on Practice professional learning program is meticulously designed to build participants’ understanding of, experiences with, and integration of best practices in informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning environments.

Core Content provides essential concepts, activities and discussions about learning and teaching in informal environments.

Advanced Study builds on the Core Content within the module, with additional ideas and activities to deepen understanding.

Video Reflection provides opportunities to share practice though watching and discussing video with the community—a hallmark of the Reflecting on Practice program

Core Content / Video Reflection / Advanced Study

    • Session 1: Learning Beliefs, Behaviors and Goals
    • Session 2: Effective Reflective Practice
    • Session 3: Nature and Practices of Science

    • Session 1: How People Learn
    • Session 2: Learners’ Prior Knowledge
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Prior knowledge
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Prior Knowledge

    • Session 1: Talking to Learn
    • Session 2: Facilitating Conversations
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Learning Conversations
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Learning Conversations

    • Session 1: Teaching with Objects
    • Session 2: Designing Learning Experiences
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Objects and Design
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Objects and Design

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