Building Strong Community Networks: A Position Paper
This discussion paper emerged from a planning process conducted by Heart of Brooklyn, its member institutions, the Institute for Learning Innovation, and the Center for the Study of Brooklyn, with funding from IMLS and the Brooklyn Community Foundation. The project, Building Strong Community Networks, sought a deep understanding of the risks, barriers, benefits and challenges of building and maintaing systemic collaborations among networks of cultural organizations. The project was based on the premise that effective parnterships among cultural and informal learning institutions enhance the potential for such institutions to become active participants in community life. We worked from the conviction that a well-developed collaboration leverages the individual and collective assets of institutions, bringing new resources to the vexing issues facing American communities today.
Download a copy of the Position Paper at:
American Beliefs Associated with Children's Nature Experience Opportunities
The "American Beliefs Associated with Children's Nature Experience Opportunities: Development and Application of the EC-NES Scale," was conducted by the Maryland-based independent non-profit learning research Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) at the request of the Children & Nature Network with funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project was conducted by ILI researchers John Fraser, Joe E. Heimlich, Victor Yocco and Anita Kraemer.
This is the first study to establish baseline measures of American public attitudes concerning the importance of direct experiences in nature for children's healthy development. Among its findings, the survey indicates that parents and others in the public see the benefits to children's physical development and their love of nature from nature-based experiences, but do not tend to see the cognitive, emotional and social benefits from those experiences. The study also revealed a wide age differentiation—the younger the adult participating in the survey, the less likely he or she is to see the benefits for children's healthy development from these experiences in nature.
While the public reports positive attitudes about children playing outdoors in nature, the respondents also reported barriers. The most dominant was concern about safety. Respondents reported significant differences between locations where they played as children, such as woods, and where they let children play today, such as indoors. They identified "wilder" places like woods, streams and ponds as the riskiest locations.
Download a copy of the report from the Children and Nature Network site at:
Or click on this ILI link:
EC-NES Final Report
Why Zoos & Aquariums Matter Handbook
ILI researchers John Fraser and Jessica Sickler were the authors of the Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter Handbook, a summary of results from their 3.5-year study of Public Perceptions of the Value of Zoos and Aquariums to the Community of Learners, a project collaboratively funded through a major grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services with matching funding from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
This handbook provides a thorough review of the results, analysis, and implications of the Value of Zoos and Aquariums Research.
- Section 1: provides readers with a set of user-friendly, two-page summaries of key findings and implications that resulted from each area of inquiry within the research and are designed to facilitate communication of the research to all members of the zoo/aquarium field.
- Section 2: provides detailed presentation of the quantitative data collected from national survey panels in this research presented primarily through tables and graphs, and organized by the value themes explored in the research.
Please email Nette Pletcher (npletcher@AZA.org) at the AZA office to request your own copy of the results today or download a copy of the full handbook below.
This download is a 4MB file.