The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 159–170 | Cite as

Equitable Access to Informal Science Education Institutions

  • Paichi Pat SheinEmail author
  • David Swinkels
  • Chi-Chen Chen
Regular Article


Science for all is a global educational pursuit; however, the realities in formal science education show that it is a goal still challenged by inequitable outcomes that are marked by gender, race/ethnicity, language, culture, and socioeconomic status. Whether these inequities persist in the informal settings still remained a question that is open for more investigation. This empirical study aims to examine the factors that relate to access to informal science education institutions. A representative sample of 1611 Taiwanese adults was asked if they have visited six popular informal science education institutions in the last 12 months. Nine factors related to travel distance, social demography, and scientific literacy, were included to explain the likelihood of visiting each institution. The findings showed that the travel distance, education, presence of children, interest in scientific issues, and attitudes toward these institutions were statistically significant predictors of visitation. The paper provides empirical and practical implications to help informal science educators and policy makers to ensure equitable access to these institutions for all.


Access Equity Informal science education Non-visitors Outreach Social inclusion 



The work was supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology under Grant [NSC101-2511-S-110-008-MY3].

Supplementary material

40299_2018_422_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Faculty of GeosciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands
  3. 3.Center for Teacher EducationNational Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute of EducationNational Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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