Civic Responsibility and Science Education

  • Paul Theobald
  • John Siskar
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 41)


Civic responsibility and science education are rarely paired together. The rise of science in the curriculum closely parallels the redirection and narrowing of the goals of education to primarily preparing students for the workplace. Looking back over the past 100 years, there has been a continual repurposing of schooling. Schools are not longer seen as an aid to democratic well-being, as a vehicle for preparing citizens who possessed the intellectual wherewithal required to shoulder civic responsibilities. Schools today are focused on helping children learn and grow so that America’s economy can compete with the rest of the world. The way science is taught today in most schools reflects the ideas proposed during the Industrial Revolution and mirrors the arguments made by those who championed the logic of Social Darwinism. The current curricular and instructional emphasis on mathematics and science (the so-called STEM disciplines) is predicated on the fact that these disciplines are deemed to be the engines of economic growth. Where is the intersection of science and civic responsibility? We contend that it is in doing science: wielding it, in the interest of improving life in a school’s neighborhood.


Science Instruction Civic Responsibility School Fund Common School State Superintendent 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Buena Vista UniversityStorm LakeUSA
  2. 2.Office of the ProvostBuffalo State UniversityBuffaloUSA

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