Socio-scientific Views on Environment and Health as Challenges to Science Education

Chapter

Abstract

Environment and health are interlinked areas that are generating increasing interest and relevance in view of achieving a sustainable society. This is the main argument for increased emphasis on environmental and health issues in science education. However, beyond this foreground goal, environment and health problems provide a background of opportunities to ask questions about the nature and role of science in society. From a positivist technical perspective, environment and health are well-defined measurable resources or states that can be controlled by well-educated individuals. Environmental and health education and related research approaches have, for a certain time, followed this line. From a socio-scientific perspective, the potential of environmental and health issues lies in searching beyond the surface: What notions of environment and health can be identified, how are they represented in society, and how are they represented in science? How do members of society, such as citizens, politicians, and scientists, come to know about what matters in current and future environmental and health developments? And what concepts do people have about how environmental and health problems might be approached? Such questions illustrated by examples and related research approaches are challenges for a socio-scientific orientation in science teaching.

Keywords

Science Education Scientific Knowledge Science Teacher Scientific Finding Environmental Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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