Effectiveness of Amateur Astronomers as Informal Science Educators
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) conducted a national survey of in-service teachers participating in Project ASTRO. The survey results document (1) the value that teachers place on supplemental astronomy education provided by professional and amateur astronomers, and (2) the difference that teachers perceive in the value provided by professional astronomers versus amateur astronomers. Survey participants indicated that they believe that the astronomer partner positively influenced students’ attitudes toward science and that amateurs may be especially effective at the elementary school level. The results also indicate that as volunteer educators, amateurs are perceived to be at least as effective as professionals when partnered with teachers in the classroom.
Gibbs, M. G., & Berendsen, M. 2006, Astronomy Education Review, 5(2), p.114–126