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The Relevancy of Science Education to Public Engagement with Science

Part of the Contributions from Biology Education Research book series (CBER)

Abstract

For the past few decades science education aimed to prepare non-scientists to make sense of science in their daily lives, to be critical consumers of science information, and to make informed decisions about scientific issues (Roberts & Bybee, 2014). This goal of inclusive science education for non-scientists is termed “science literacy” (Hurd, 1958). “Science education for all” can be justified if it offers value for all rather than just for the minority who will become scientists (Osborne & Dillon, 2008). What is this value?

“The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived, That the same event happens to them all”

Ecclesiastes 2:14

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In accordance with the scope of science education, ‘Science’ refers here to STEM: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Science includes a body of knowledge (content and theories), a way of knowing the world (processes and dispositions), as well as aspects of human endeavour (relevant institutions and people).

  2. 2.

    Vision I of science literacy offers a solid comprehensive foundation of literacy within science (Roberts, 2007).

  3. 3.

    I adhere to a quote attributed to the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who was asked why a brilliant scientist like himself would nail a horseshow above his door for good luck. He replied “I understand it brings you luck, whether you believe in it or not”.

  4. 4.

    The dependence of one’s knowledge on factors outside one’s cognitive agency, e.g. one does not possess direct evidence that the Earth circles the sun, but believes so nonetheless.

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Baram-Tsabari, A. (2022). The Relevancy of Science Education to Public Engagement with Science. In: Korfiatis, K., Grace, M. (eds) Current Research in Biology Education. Contributions from Biology Education Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89480-1_1

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