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Utilizing Social Media to Increase Student-Led Activism on STSE Issues

Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE,volume 9)

Abstract

Through Brandon Zoras’ graduate work at OISE on urban boys and science education, he was most interested in papers written on STSE (Science, Technology, Society, and Environment) and social justice in science. Social justice is not always first associated with courses like science, but often is addressed in the social sciences. Nevertheless, many social justice issues are rooted within fields of science; and, ensuring students have some scientific literacy in this regard is critical so they can navigate and understand complex social justice issues. The work of Angela Calabrese Barton and colleagues (e.g., Barton AC, Teaching science for social justice. Teachers College Press, New York, 2003; Barton AC, Tan E, Can J Sci Math Technol Educ 10(3):207–222, 2010), Larry Bencze (e.g., Bencze L, STEPWISE: Science and technology education promoting wellbeing for individuals, societies and environments. Accessed at http://stepwiser.ca, 2013; Bencze L, Bowen M, Alsop S, Sci Educ 90(3):400–419, 2006), Christopher Emdin (e.g., Reality pedagogy and urban science education: Toward a comprehensive understanding of the urban science classroom. In: Fraser B, Tobin K, McRobbie C (eds) Second international handbook of science education. Springer, New York, pp 67–80, 2010; Int J Qual Stud Educ 24(3):285–301, 2011), Wanja Gitari (e.g., Can J Sci Math Technol Educ 9(4):262–275, 2009), and Erminia Pedretti and colleagues (e.g., Sci Educ 17(8):941–960, 2008), had inspired him to get students looking at their own communities for social justice issues that involved science. Focusing on urban education and also teaching in urban schools within Toronto, issues of social justice, equity, and socioeconomic status are important factors to discuss. Having a better understanding of science can lead to better careers, understanding of health diagnosis and power. Through the semester-long apprenticeship and exposure to various types of technology and social media, students reported being able to better understand the STSE issues as well as learning activism strategies that can be applied within their lives. From simple self-advocacy next time they are faced with an issue, to being able to start their own action on an issue, they felt prepared to research and take action.

Keywords

  • STSE
  • Social media
  • STEPWISE
  • Activism
  • Urban science education
  • Educational technology
  • Social justice

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Majora Carter – TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/majora_carter_s_tale_of_urban_renewal.html

  2. 2.

    Chris Emdin TED Talk http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Empowering-Children-through-Urb

  3. 3.

    For STEPWISE framework see www.stepwiser.ca

  4. 4.

    Story of Stuff (2008) – www.storyofstuff.org

  5. 5.

    94 Elements – www.94elements.com

  6. 6.

    Explore Learning Gizmos – www.explorelearning.com

  7. 7.

    See http://bloodinthemobile.org for movie trailer, background and resources.

  8. 8.

    More information on Toronto Zoo Phone Apes – www.torontozoo.com/conservation/PhoneApes.asp

  9. 9.

    http://youtu.be/406TLCNksM8

  10. 10.

    Wikispaces™ – www.wikispaces.com

  11. 11.

    Google Drive™ – http://drive.google.com

  12. 12.

    For more information on Wikispaces for educators see http://www.wikispaces.com/content/teacher

  13. 13.

    Pinterest – http://pinterest.com and Instagram – http://instagram.com

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Correspondence to Brandon Zoras M.Ed. .

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Zoras, B., Bencze, L. (2014). Utilizing Social Media to Increase Student-Led Activism on STSE Issues. In: Bencze, J., Alsop, S. (eds) Activist Science and Technology Education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, vol 9. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4360-1_24

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