The economic value of informal learning places February 2009
Informal learning <ul><li>Informal learning  goes on all the time outside formal institutions like schools, colleges and u...
Get in early <ul><li>Research shows the snowball effect of an early start because benefits keep accumulating over time.  <...
Science is a challenge for adults too <ul><li>Many  parents  have low knowledge levels about science and technology, and m...
For children AND adults <ul><li>Children’s museums are a great resource for families and also for schools.  </li></ul><ul>...
Knowledge economy <ul><li>In a Knowledge Economy, informal learning institutions like children’s museums and libraries del...
Economic measures <ul><li>Cost Benefit Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>CBA is an established method that is not only accepted b...
Issues <ul><li>Persuasive data </li></ul><ul><li>Base data gives ‘comfort’ that public money is not wasted, and that the s...
<ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Gillian Savage </li></ul><ul><li>Environmetrics </li></ul><ul><li>Locked Bag 2116 </li><...
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Economic value of informal learning places

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Informal learning places like museums, galleries and science centres offer benefits that can be measured in economic terms. What are some issues in the field of economic measurement?

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Economic value of informal learning places

  1. 1. The economic value of informal learning places February 2009
  2. 2. Informal learning <ul><li>Informal learning goes on all the time outside formal institutions like schools, colleges and universities. </li></ul><ul><li>Humans learn language through informal learning at home . We also learn most of our cultural values in the heart of the family – the great engine room of informal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Modern societies have evolved various places that foster informal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Museum :: Gallery :: Arts Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Museum :: Library :: Zoo </li></ul><ul><li>Science Centre :: Botanic Gardens </li></ul>
  3. 3. Get in early <ul><li>Research shows the snowball effect of an early start because benefits keep accumulating over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Children who start school with good foundations will prosper, while those who are disadvantaged will struggle as they try to catch up or keep up. Or they give up altogether. </li></ul><ul><li>Economists and academics note that programs targeted at young children show the greatest return on investment because of the snowball effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s museums are valuable community resources that help children catch up and keep up. </li></ul>James J. Heckman and Dimitriy V. Masterov, The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children. T.W. Schultz Award Lecture at the Allied Social Sciences Association annual meeting, Chicago, January 5-7, 2007.
  4. 4. Science is a challenge for adults too <ul><li>Many parents have low knowledge levels about science and technology, and much of what they know is not up to date. </li></ul><ul><li>Our research into science education, conducted for the Australian Museum and Questacon, showed that many teachers valued science excursions for what they learnt themselves. </li></ul>According to our research, many primary school teachers felt under-prepared to teach scientific concepts. In particular, many lacked the confidence to present practical hands-on lessons. Many agreed that – The outing is like professional development for me.
  5. 5. For children AND adults <ul><li>Children’s museums are a great resource for families and also for schools. </li></ul><ul><li>While children learn at the museum, the accompanying adults, including parents and teachers, are learning too. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns have been raised about the standard of science teaching in primary schools. A children’s museum could provide a much-needed resource that supports classroom teaching. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Knowledge economy <ul><li>In a Knowledge Economy, informal learning institutions like children’s museums and libraries deliver strong economic value. </li></ul><ul><li>Funding agencies require good data for decision making. New economic tools have been developed to measure a wide range of social benefits. Cost Benefit Analysis and Contingent Valuation are now widely used. </li></ul>More than 20 studies into the economic benefits of libraries have been carried out in the past seven years. Studies for US and Australian libraries report returns on investment ranging from $2.50 to $6.50 for each dollar invested.
  7. 7. Economic measures <ul><li>Cost Benefit Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>CBA is an established method that is not only accepted by the Australian Government and Council of Australian Governments (COAG), but is required for regulatory proposals that will have significant impacts. </li></ul><ul><li>The Australian Government Department of Finance and Deregulation provides a range of CBA support materials including a Handbook of Cost‐Benefit Analysis (2006). </li></ul>Contingent Valuation Method CVM is a survey-based technique frequently used when valuing non-market resources in which use and non-use values can be estimated. Respondents to survey questions are presented with a hypothetical scenario and are asked to state their willingness to pay in dollars for a change in amenity.
  8. 8. Issues <ul><li>Persuasive data </li></ul><ul><li>Base data gives ‘comfort’ that public money is not wasted, and that the service provides the same kinds of economic benefits as other services. </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful data gives impetus for support because of the particular values of the service. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s museums offer unique services (information, education and healthy lifestyle) that are essential in modern economies. </li></ul><ul><li>System vs individual benefit </li></ul><ul><li>The Australian HECS-HELP system acknowledges that higher education benefits an individual by giving access to well-paid work. It also benefits the society as a whole by providing a pool of highly trained professionals. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly, children’s museums benefit both individuals and the society they live in. Public funding could be justified because of the benefit to society as a whole. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Gillian Savage </li></ul><ul><li>Environmetrics </li></ul><ul><li>Locked Bag 2116 </li></ul><ul><li>North Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>NSW 2059 </li></ul><ul><li>PH 02 9954 0455 </li></ul><ul><li>E gillian @environmetrics.com.au </li></ul><ul><li>www.environmetrics.com.au </li></ul>

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