Working with socio-scientific issues for citizenship

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Working with socio-scientific issues for citizenship

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Working with socio-scientific issues for citizenship
Author(s) Ideland, Malin ; Malmberg, Claes
Date 2007-10-05
English abstract
Current media debates often have a basis in science, e.g. climate change, biotechnology, health issues, information technology. At the same time it is well known that students interest for school science decrease. They experience science as difficult, boring and not relevant to them. Aikenhead (2006) claims that science education often is training for the scientific world, not for citizenship in everyday world. He proposes a humanistic perspective on science as an alternative to “traditional” science education to involve more students in the culture of science. The research aim is to study how authentic society tasks can motivate Swedish students, year 7 to 9, to use science as a tool in understanding and solving authentic problems. The interest is also what knowledge the students develop and how this prepares them for being parts of public debates. During the first phase socio-scientific tasks are developed. Their aims are to get the students to understand the importance of scientific literacy for personal and societal well-being (Ratcliffe &Grace, 2003). This paper introduces the work with the development of motivating socio-scientific issues for citizenship. The tasks are based on Ratcliffe and Grace’s (2003) definitions of socio-scientific issues. The learning goals for the cases include three different types of knowledge; conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge; attitudes and beliefs. Beside scientific conceptual knowledge, the students are supposed to, e.g., engage in cost-benefit analysis, ethical reasoning and evidence evaluation – especially on mass media reports. The learners are also supposed to clarify personal and societal values and recognize how values and beliefs are present in the scientific debate. This paper presents two socio-scientific tasks concerning biotechnologies and ecological food.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) socio-scientific issues
science education
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education
Note CICE conference, Malmö, Sweden
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