Science education for sustainability: teaching for critical awareness concerning the chemical oppression in our everyday life

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Science education for sustainability: teaching for critical awareness concerning the chemical oppression in our everyday life

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Science education for sustainability: teaching for critical awareness concerning the chemical oppression in our everyday life
Author(s) Sjöström, Jesper ; Hansson, Lena
Date 2016
Editor(s) Lavonen, Jari; Juuti, Kalle; Lampiselkä, Jarkko; Uitto, Anna; Hahl, Kaisa
English abstract
The modern society can be described as a globalized risk society characterised by increasing complexity and unpredictable consequences of techno-scientific innovations and production. One example is the “chemicalisation” of our society, bodies and nature. Actually one could even talk about a ”chemical oppression”, where we all – mainly unaware – are exposed to different risk-related chemicals, such as additives and contaminants, in our everyday life. Some examples, sometimes reported on in the public debate, are phtalates and perfluorated chemicals. But probably these groups of chemicals are only the top of an iceberg. Therefore, we think that risk-related chemicals should be discussed more in school and the discussion should be about e.g. knowledge uncertainties concerning chemical risks and actors’ interplay in the so-called ”chemical society”. However today, as illustrated with two examples (nanotechnology and plastics) from a lower-secondary chemistry textbook, the oppression seems to continue into the science/chemistry classroom. Chemical applications are often treated in an unproblematizing way in textbooks and teaching. Critical pedagogy opens up for a breaking of the chemical oppression through the science education. Furthermore, by puting emphasis in school on the chemical oppression, the society will get educated citizens – with critical scientific literacy – who are able to assess and value information about environmental chemicals and chemical risks, and also to take educated actions against the chemical oppression. The paper was part of the symposium "New perspectives for raising the relevance of science education" chaired by Ingo Eilks, Institute for Science Education, University of Bremen, Germany.
Link http://www.esera2015.org/nqcontent.cfm?a_name=proposal_view (external link to publication)
Publisher ESERA
Series/Issue Science Education Research : Engaging learners for a sustainable future;4
ISBN 978-951-51-1541-6
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) Risk society
Chemical society
Chemical oppression
Scientific literacy
Chemical literacy
Critical pedagogy
Chemicals education
Kemikaliedidaktik
Nanotechnology
Nanoteknik
Plastics
Plast
Textbook analysis
Läroboksanalys
Relevant science education
Education for sustainable development
ESD
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Note 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, Finland, August 31 - September 4, 2015
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/19751 (link to this page)
Link http://www.esera2015.org/ (external link to related web page)

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