Revolutionizing informal education: Intersection of citizen science and learning theories
Chia-Hsuan Hsu 1 , Wei-Cheng Kao 2 , Lei Chai 3 *
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1 Biodiversity Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Ibaraki, JAPAN2 Forest Management Division, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taipei, TAIWAN3 Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA* Corresponding Author


In recent years, citizen science has emerged as a vital component of large-scale scientific research, relying on the collaboration of participants and scientists in gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating new discoveries. Research has shown that citizen science participants not only assist in data collection but also make significant contributions to their scientific and environmental education. However, the wide range of learning process and approach associated with citizen science has resulted in numerous studies using different theories to examine learning outcomes. This paper seeks to compile various learning theories that align with citizen science participation and engagement. The theories to be explored include experiential learning, sociocultural theory, social learning theory, free-choice learning, constructivism learning theory, and situated learning. By synthesizing these theories, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive reference for the growing body of research on learning with citizen scientists.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Review Article

INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED, 2023, Volume 19, Issue 4, Article No: e2319

Publication date: 25 Sep 2023

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Article Downloads: 310

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