Master of Science: Science and Mathematics Education (Free-Choice Learning) – Online
Now accepting students for summer 2013. Classes start June 24.
The online Master of Science in Free-Choice (Informal) Learning aims to equip professional science and mathematics educators with abilities to facilitate and support learning across locations and ages, giving lifelong learners a chance to take an active role in science, mathematics and technology-focused educational experiences.
Free-choice learning is non-traditional or informal education that focuses on the nature of the learning, rather than where it occurs. Free-choice (informal) learning approaches science and mathematics education by appealing to an individual's or group’s interests, personal curiosities and motivation, and it is self-directed, voluntary and lifelong. Free-choice learning opportunities traditionally occur in science museums, zoos, national parks, public broadcasting organizations, on the Internet and within other science-related community organizations.
The program is ideal for mid-career professionals who work (as well as students preparing for) jobs in science-related community organizations, such as:
- Science centers and museums
- National and state parks
- Nature centers and outdoor settings
- Science, math and technology-based positions in new media (public television, radio, Web)
- University outreach programs
- Family and youth-serving organizations with commitments to science and mathematics learning
Also, read a pair of articles that shed light on how the Oregon Sea Grant is encouraging the development of free-choice learning and a study that confirms free-choice learning's impact on the community.
Applicants to the program should have a bachelor’s degree in a science or mathematics-related area, such as natural science, physical science, Earth and space science, algebra, geometry and social science. Ideal prospects will have at least two years of experience working in a science or mathematics-related community organization or venue.
Ready to apply?
Visit the OSU College of Education's website for application materials and admission requirements.
Are you interested in professional development, but not a full master's degree? Oregon State University offers two online options for people interested in free-choice learning through our professional and noncredit education unit:
- Master Interpretive Guide Certificate: Online noncredit program designed for people who work or are seeking jobs in natural resources agencies, parks, museums, aquariums, informal science or environmental organizations. The certificate program provides high-level professional development to participants interested in becoming master interpretive communicators.
- Free-Choice Learning Professional Certificate: Online noncredit program designed for staff and volunteers at museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, cultural and natural history museums, nature centers and nonprofits focusing on public education; as well as, community college and adult educators and those conducting science-based outreach at universities. Gain knowledge in the personal, socio-cultural and physical dimensions of free-choice learning.