Thinking (Scientifically) Responsibly: The Cultivation of Character in a Global Science Education Community

  • Dana L. Zeidler
  • Marvin W. Berkowitz
  • Kory Bennett
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 41)


What does it mean to think in scientifically responsible ways? What does it mean to think globally and act locally if words and deeds are to be viewed in a global context? Do normative expectations of morality hinder or facilitate the development of character? Is the exercise of prudence and virtue commensurable with a global perspective of science education? This chapter explores the issues surrounding these and related questions as they impact policy and practice in science education. The conundrum of what it means to think responsibly in a pluralistic society is both an academically interesting challenge and a task that greatly impacts the quality of our physical, organic, and social world. Here, we need to consider the notion of western dominant science, indigenous science, and scientific worldviews. We will analyze and evaluate the boundaries that we place between these concepts in order to reveal the common threads that flow through them. By viewing our ever-fluctuating context through a lens grounded in the inspection of common social tapestries (structures), we will begin to understand what it means to think responsibly as human beings in the modern world and in turn formulate a foundation for responsible scientific thinking. This framework has the potential to guide and inspire policymakers and science educators toward creating a dynamic environment conducive to formation of character.


Science Education Moral Identity Moral Emotion Socioscientific Issue Real Estate Agent 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana L. Zeidler
    • 1
  • Marvin W. Berkowitz
    • 2
  • Kory Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Character and CitizenshipUniversity of Missouri–St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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