Advertisement

SOCIETAL ISSUES AND THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE EDUCATION—A PEDAGOGICAL JUSTIFICATION AND THE STATE-OF-THE-ART IN ISRAEL, GERMANY, AND THE USA

  • Avi HofsteinEmail author
  • Ingo Eilks
  • Rodger Bybee
Article

Abstract

One common theme underlying recent reports on science education is that the content of school science and its related pedagogical approaches are not aligned with the interests and needs of both society and the majority of the students. Most students do not find their science classes interesting and motivating. These claims are especially valid regarding those students who, in the future, will probably not embark on a career in science or engineering but will need science and technology personally and functionally as literate citizens. One key problem seems to be that few science programs around the world teach how science is linked to those issues that are relevant to students’ life, environment, and role as a citizen. As a result, many students are unable to participate in societal discussions about science and its related technological applications. This paper discusses the need to incorporate socioscientific ideas into the science curricula more thoroughly. This recommendation is supported by a theoretical rationale from various sources leading to a reflection about common practices in science education in three countries: Israel, Germany, and the USA. The state-of-the-art, potentials, and barriers of effective implementation are discussed.

KEY WORDS

context-based-learning relevance science curriculum scientific literacy for all socioscientific issue teaching and learning science 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. American Chemical Society (ACS) (1988). Chemistry in the community. Dubuque, IA: Kendall & Hunt.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, J. O., Chui, M.-H. & Yore, L. D. (2010). Special issue “First cycle on PISA (2000–2006)—international perspectives on successes and challenges: Research and policy directions”. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8, 373–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Appleton, K. & Kindt, T. (1999). How do beginning elementary teachers cope with science: Development of pedagogical content knowledge in science. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundation of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Blonder, R., Kipnis, M., Mamlok-Naaman, R. & Hofstein, A. (2008). Increasing science teachers’ ownership through adaptation of the PARSEL modules: A “bottom-up” approach. Science Education International, 19(3), 285–301.Google Scholar
  7. Burton, G., Holman, J., Pilling, G. & Waddington, D. (1994). Salters advanced chemistry. York, UK: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  8. Bybee, R. W. (Ed.). (1985). Science–technology–society, NSTA yearbook. Washington, DC: National Science Teachers Association.Google Scholar
  9. Bybee, R. W. (1997). Toward an understanding of scientific literacy. In W. Gräber & C. Bolte (Eds.), Scientific literacy—an international symposium (pp. 37–68). Kiel, Germany: IPN.Google Scholar
  10. Bybee, R. W. & DeBoer, G. (1993). Goals for the science curriculum. In D. Gable (Ed.), Handbook of research on science teaching and learning (pp. 357–387). Washington, DC: National Science Teachers Association.Google Scholar
  11. Bybee, R., Fensham, P. J. & Laurie, R. (2009). Special issue: Scientific literacy and contexts in PISA science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(8), 861–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, D., Ben-Zvi, R., Hofstein, A. & Rahamimoff, R. (2004). On brain, medicines and drugs: A model for the “Science for All” program. The American Biology Teacher, 66(1), 9–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Boer, G. (2000). Scientific literacy: Another look at its historical and contemporary meanings and its relationship to science education reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(6), 582–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Vos, W., Bulte, A. M. W. & Pilot, A. (2002). Chemistry curricula for general education: Analysis and elements of a design. In J. K. Gilbert, R. Justi, O. de Jong & J. Van Driel (Eds.), Chemical education: Towards research-based practice (pp. 101–124). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press.Google Scholar
  15. Eilks, I. (2000). Promoting scientific and technological literacy: Teaching biodiesel. Science Education International, 11(1), 16–21.Google Scholar
  16. Eilks, I. (2002). Teaching ‘biodiesel’: A sociocritical and problem-oriented approach to chemistry teaching, and students’ first views on it. Chemistry Education: Research Practice, 3(1), 67–75.Google Scholar
  17. Eilks, I., Marks, R. & Feierabend, T. (2008). Science education research to prepare future citizens—chemistry learning in a socio-critical and problem-oriented approach. In B. Ralle & I. Eilks (Eds.), Promoting successful science learning—the worth of science education research (pp. 75–86). Aachen, Germany: Shaker.Google Scholar
  18. Eilks, I., Parchmann, I., Gräsel, C. & Ralle, B. (2004). Changing teachers’ attitudes and professional skills by involving teachers into projects of curriculum innovation in Germany. In B. Ralle & I. Eilks (Eds.), Quality in practice oriented research in science education (pp. 29–40). Aachen, Germany: Shaker.Google Scholar
  19. Eilks, I. & Ralle, B. (2002). Participatory action research in chemical education. In B. Ralle & I. Eilks (Eds.), Research in chemical education—what does this mean? (pp. 87–98). Aachen, Germany: Shaker.Google Scholar
  20. Elmose, S. & Roth, W.-M. (2005). Allgemeinbildung: Readiness for living in a risk society. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37(1), 11–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Feierabend, T. & Eilks, I. (2010). Raising students’ perception of the relevance of science teaching and promoting communication and evaluation capabilities using authentic and controversial socio-scientific issues in the framework of climate change. Science Education International, 21(3), 176–196.Google Scholar
  22. Fensham, P. J. (1988). Familiar but different: Some dilemmas and new direction in science education. In P. J. Fensham (Ed.), Development and dilemmas in science education (pp. 1–26). London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  23. Fensham, P. J. (1993). Academic influence on school sciences. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 25(1), 53–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fensham, P. J. (2009). Real world contexts in PISA science: Implications for context-based science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(8), 884–896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fischer, H. E., Klemm, K., Leutner, D., Sumfleth, E., Tiemann, R. & Wirth, J. (2005). Framework for empirical research on science teaching and learning. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16(4), 309–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Freise, G. (1994). Für einen politischen Unterricht von der Natur. Marburg, Germany: Soznat.Google Scholar
  27. Geddis, A. N. & Roberts, D. A. (1998). As science students become science teachers: A perspective on learning orientation. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 9(4), 271–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gilbert, J. K. (2006). On the nature of context in chemical education. International Journal of Science. Education, 28(9), 957–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Glenn, J. (2000). Before it’s too late: A report to the nation from the national commission on mathematics and science teaching for the 21st century. Washington, DC: NCMST.Google Scholar
  30. Goodman, J. (1988). Constructing a practical philosophy of teaching: A study of pre-service teachers’ professional perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 4(2), 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gräber, W. (2002). Chemistry education’s contribution to scientific literacy—an example. In B. Ralle & I. Eilks (Eds.), Research in chemical education—what does this mean? (pp. 119–128). Aachen, Germany: Shaker.Google Scholar
  32. Gräber, W. & Bolte, C. (Eds.). (1997). Scientific literacy—an international symposium. Kiel, Germany: IPN.Google Scholar
  33. Gräber, W. & Lindner, M. (2008). The impact of the PARSEL way to teach science in Germany on interest, scientific literacy, and German national standards. Science Education International, 19(4), 267–274.Google Scholar
  34. Harrison, C., Hofstein, A., Eylon, B.-S. & Simon, S. (2008). Evidence-based professional development of science teachers in two countries. International Journal of Science Education, 30(5), 577–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hofstein, A. & Dori, J. Y. (2000). The development implementation and initial research findings of ‘Science and Technology for All’ in Israel. Paper presented at the international symposium on connecting communities through research in science and technology education for all: An international perspective. New Orleans, LA: NARST.Google Scholar
  36. Hofstein, A. & Kempa, R. F. (1985). Motivating aspects in science education: An attempt at an analysis. European Journal of Science Education, 7(3), 221–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hofstein, A. & Kesner, M. (2006). Industrial chemistry and school chemistry: Making chemistry studies more relevant. International Journal of Science Education, 28(9), 1017–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hofstein, A., Mamlok, R. & Carmeli, M. (1997). Science teachers as curriculum developers of science for all. Science Education International, 8(1), 26–29.Google Scholar
  39. Hofstein, A. & Yager, R. E. (1982). Social issues as organizers for science education in the 80’s. School Science and Mathematics, 82(7), 539–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Holbrook, J. (1998). Operationalising scientific and technological literacy—a new approach to science teaching. Science Education International, 9(2), 13–18.Google Scholar
  41. Holbrook, J. (2005). Making chemistry teaching relevant. Chemical Education International, 6 (1). Retrieved August 01, 2009, from the World Wide Web at http://old.iupac.org/publications/cei/vol6/06_Holbrook.pdf.
  42. Holbrook, J. (2008). Introduction to the special issue of science education international devoted to PARSEL. Science Education International, 19(3), 257–266.Google Scholar
  43. Holbrook, J. & Rannikmäe, M. (2007). The nature of science education for enhancing scientific literacy. International Journal of Science Education, 29(11), 1347–1362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Holbrook, J., Rannikmäe, M. & Kask, K. (2008). Teaching the PARSEL way: Students’ reactions to selected PARSEL modules. Science Education International, 19(3), 303–313.Google Scholar
  45. Holman, J. (1986). Science and technology in society. General guide for teachers. Hatfield, UK: The Association for Science Education.Google Scholar
  46. Hughes, G. (2000). Marginalization of socioscientific material in science–technology–society science curricula: Some implications for gender inclusivity and curriculum reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 426–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Humboldt, W. v. (1793/2000). Theorie der Bildung des Menschen. English translation in I. Westbury, S. Hopmann & K. Riquarts (Eds.). Teaching as a reflective practice: The German Didaktik tradition (pp. 57–62). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  48. Jenkins, E. W. (2005). Important but not for me: Students’ attitudes towards secondary school science in England. Research in Science & Technological Education, 23(1), 41–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kagan, S. M. (1992). Professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 62(2), 129–169.Google Scholar
  50. Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3), 2–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kempa, R. F. (1983). Developing new perspectives in chemical education. Proceedings of the 7th international conference in chemistry, education, and society. Montpellier, France (pp. 34–42).Google Scholar
  52. Kesner, M., Hofstein, A. & Ben-Zvi, R. (1997). Student and teacher perceptions of industrial chemistry case studies. International Journal of Science Education, 19(6), 725–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Klafki, W. (1958/2000b). Didaktik Analysis as the core for preparation of instruction. In I. Westbury, S. Hopmann & K. Riquarts (Eds.), Teaching as a reflective practice: The German Didaktik tradition (pp. 85–108). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  54. Klafki, W. (2000). The significance of classical theories of Bildung for a contemporary concept of Allgemeinbildung. In I. Westbury, S. Hopmann & K. Riquarts (Eds.), Teaching as a reflective practice: The German Didaktik tradition (pp. 85–108). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  55. KMK (2004). Bildungsstandards im Fach Chemie für den Mittleren Bildungsabschluss. München, Germany: Luchterhand.Google Scholar
  56. Luft, J., Ortegaz, I. & Wong-Kavas, S. (2009). NSTA’s state of science education survey. Washington, DC: NSTA.Google Scholar
  57. Marks, R., Bertram, S. & Eilks, I. (2008). Learning chemistry and beyond with a lesson plan on potato crisps, which follows a socio-critical and problem-oriented approach to chemistry lessons—a case study. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 9(3), 267–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Marks, R. & Eilks, I. (2009). Promoting scientific literacy using a socio-critical and problem-oriented approach to chemistry teaching: Concept, examples, experiences. International Journal of Science and Environmental Education, 4(3), 231–245.Google Scholar
  59. Marks, R. & Eilks, I. (2010). The development of a chemistry lesson plan on shower gels and musk fragrances following a socio-critical and problem-oriented approach—a project of participatory action research. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 11(2), 129–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McCann-Sherman, W. (1999). Teaching about societal issues in science classrooms. SE 99-6. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.Google Scholar
  61. Millar, R. (2009). On scientific literacy and curriculum reform. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4(3), 201–213.Google Scholar
  62. Millar, R. & Osborne, J. F. (Eds.). (1998). Beyond 2000: Science education for the future. London: King’s College London.Google Scholar
  63. Morell, P. D. & Lederman, N. G. (1998). Students’ attitudes toward school and classroom science: Are they independent phenomena? School Science and Mathematics, 98(2), 76–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. National Research Council (NRC) (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  65. National Research Council (NRC) (2005). Systems for state science assessment. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  66. Nentwig, P., Parchmann, I., Gräsel, C., Ralle, B. & Demuth, R. (2007). Chemie im Kontext—a new approach to teaching chemistry; its principles and first evaluation data. Journal of Chemical Education, 84(9), 1439–1444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Norris, S. P. & Phillips, L. M. (2003). How literacy in its original sense is central to scientific literacy. Science & Education, 87(2), 224–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. OECD (2006). Assessing scientific, reading and mathematical literacy. Paris, France: OECD.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Osborne, J. F. (2003). Attitude towards science: A review of the literature and its implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25(9), 1049–1079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Osborne, J. F. (2007). Science education for the twenty first century. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 3(3), 173–184.Google Scholar
  71. Osborne, J. & Collins, J. (2001). Pupils’ views of the role and value of the science curriculum: A focus-group study. International Journal of Science Education, 23(5), 441–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Osborne, J. & Dillon, J. (2008). Science education in Europe: Critical reflections. London: The Nuffield Foundation.Google Scholar
  73. Osborne, J., Driver, R. & Simon, S. (1998). Attitudes to science: Issues and concerns. School Science Review, 79(288), 27–33.Google Scholar
  74. Ostermeier, C. & Prenzel, M. (2005). What can we learn from different forms of evaluation? Experiences from a quality-development program in science and mathematics instruction. In J. Benett, J. Holman, R. Millar & D. Waddington (Eds.), Evaluation as a tool for improving science education (pp. 145–158). Münster, Germany: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  75. Pederson, J. E. & Totten, S. (2001). Beliefs of science teachers towards teaching of science/technological/societal issues: Are we addressing national standards. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 21(5), 376–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pedretti, E. G., Bencze, L., Hewitt, J., Romkey, L. & Jivraj, A. (2008). Promoting issues-based STSE perspectives in science teacher education: Problems of identity and ideology. Science & Education, 17(8–9), 941–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Pilot, A. & Bulte, A. M. W. (2006). Special issue: Context based chemistry education. International Journal of Science Education, 28(9), 953–1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Roberts, D. A. (1988). What counts as science education. In P. Fensham (Ed.), Development and dilemma in science education. Barcecome, Lews, East Sussex, UK: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  79. Roberts, D. A. (2007). Scientific literacy/science literacy. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research in science education (pp. 729–780). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  80. Roth, W.-M. & Lee, S. (2004). Science education as/for participation in the community. Science & Education, 88(2), 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Rutherford, F. J. & Ahlgren, A. (1991). Science for all Americans: The project 2061. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Sadler, T. D. (2004). Informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues: A critical review of research. Journal of Research Science Teaching, 41(5), 513–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sadler, T. D. (2008). Socioscientific issues in science education: Labels, reasoning, and transfer. Cultural Studies in Science Education, 04, 2008.Google Scholar
  84. Sadler, T. D. & Zeidler, D. (2009). Scientific literacy, PISA, and socioscientific discourse: Assessment for progressive aims of science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(8), 909–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shwartz, Y., Ben-Zvi, R. & Hofstein, A. (2005). The importance of involving high school teachers in the process of identifying and defining the operational meaning of chemical literacy. International Journal of Science Education., 27(3), 323–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Shwartz, Y., Ben-Zvi-R & Hofstein, A. (2006). Chemical literacy: What does it mean to scientists and school teachers? Journal of Chemical Education, 83(10), 1557–1561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Sjøberg, S. & Schreiner, C. (2006). How do learners in different cultures relate to science and technology? Results and perspectives from the project ROSE (the Relevance of Science Education). APFSLT: Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 7(1).Google Scholar
  88. Solomon, J. & Aikenhead, G. (Eds.). (1994). STS education: International perspectives on reform. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  89. Tomorrow 98 (1992). The report on reform in science education. Jerusalem, Israel: The Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  90. Tsaparlis, G. & Papapihotis, G. (2002). Classroom activity # 47: Brushing up on chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 79, 1168A–1168B.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Van Aalsvoort, J. (2004a). Logical positivism as a tool to analyse problem of chemistry’s lack of relevance in secondary school chemistry education. International Journal of Science Education, 26(9), 1151–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Van Aalsvoort, J. (2004b). Activity theory as a tool to address the problem of chemistry’s lack of relevance in secondary school chemistry education. International Journal of Science Education, 26(13), 1635–1651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Veal, W. R. & Hill, C. (2004). Beliefs and knowledge in chemistry teacher development. International Journal of Science Education, 26(3), 329–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Westbury, I., Hopmann, S. & Riquarts, K. (Eds.). (2000). Teaching as a reflective practice. The German Didaktik tradition. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  95. Yager, R. E. & Lutz, M. V. (1995). STS to enhance total curriculum. School Science and Mathematics, 95(1), 28–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Zeidler, D. L., Sadler, T. D., Simmons, M. L. & Howes, E. V. (2005). A research based framework for socio-scientific issues education. Science & Education, 89(3), 357–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.BSCSColorado SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations