Online Course: Making the Case for STEM Learning

This online course will provide you with the most comprehensive understanding of the communications research on how the American public thinks about STEM education and out-of-school time learning. This course is accessible at no cost through March 2017.

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Webinar Series: Learn to Speak "STEM-ish"

This two-part recorded webinar series provides an overview of the FrameWorks Institute's research-based communications strategies that boost public support for afterschool STEM programs. It overviews a few of the communications traps that can weaken your messages' effectiveness and practice staying out of those traps by applying tested tools that work to increase people's understanding of informal STEM learning, how it works, and why it matters.

The STEM Swamp

Public thinking is like a swamp – and it can be hard to get your messages through. The communications research has found that there are default patterns of thinking that people use to makes sense of issues related to STEM education and out-of-school time learning. Navigate through the swamp with this map!

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FrameWorks Academy

The FrameWorks Academy is a set of interactive online courses offered by the FrameWorks Institute. Some courses are available for free and others are available for a nominal cost. Here's two of our favorites.

Wide Angle Lens: Telling Thematic Stories

In American culture, we often tell highly personal, individualized stories to advocate for social issues. While this approach is often highly compelling, it leaves a lot of important aspects out. In this course, learn how to tell “thematic stories,” in order to open the door to a better understanding of both the causes of social problems as well as their solutions.

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Framing with Numbers: Using Social Math

As communicators, we often reach for data to help us make powerful arguments. Since we can't ensure that our audience will interpret data in the ways that we want them to, numbers must be used strategically and sparingly. This online course from demonstrates the concept of social math, or the practice of providing meaning first, followed by easily understandable data.

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The Communications Research

The Power of Explanation: Reframing STEM and Informal Learning

Reviews the research on the dominant patterns of reasoning employed by the American public, identifies the major challenges for communicating about STEM and recommends how communications may be redirected to improve public understanding.

Telling the STEM Chapter of the Education Core Story: A Communications Toolkit

A practical toolkit to aid in crafting communications that align with FrameWorks’ research, along with sample communications material including social media, blog posts and editorials.

"You Have to Have the Basics Down Really Well": Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of STEM Learning

Compares expert and public perspectives on STEM education and informal learning, identifying specific opportunities for bringing new information and new ways of thinking about STEM education into public thinking and conversation.

Missing Matter: Holes in the Media Narrative about Informal and Formal STEM Learning

Analyzes 283 relevant stories from newspapers, television broadcasts and news-oriented blogs to deepen understanding of the media narrative that shapes public understanding.

Narrative Holes in STEM Storytelling: A Field Frame Analysis

Analyzes communications materials from organizations advocating for STEM education reform, pointing out themes and trends suggesting that changes in advocacy tactics might be warranted.

Mapping the Gaps on Where and When Learning Takes Place

An interactive multi-media report that compares expert explanations with public understandings of the spaces and times where learning occurs, yielding insights into opportunities for building public awareness.

How Media Portray Learning Space and Time

Examines dominant media frames regarding learning space and time, pointing out opportunities for advocates to influence the conversation.

Putting It Back Together Again: Reframing Education Using a Core Story Approach

Recommends specific reframing tools that showed strong results in shifting public thinking away from nostalgia-driven pushback to time reforms, and built public support for expanding out-of-school learning opportunities.