Citizen Science

A Path to Democratic and Sociopolitically Conscious Science
  • Justine Oesterle
  • Bhaskar UpadhyayEmail author
  • Julie C. Brown
  • Matthew Vernon
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


In this chapter we explore the idea of citizen science in science education and its value in broadening student science participation, building greater science engagement, and expanding the usefulness of science in broader life events and actions. The focus of the chapter is to explore how citizen science provides a space and context for teachers and students to engage in science content and activities that bring greater personal and community meanings in learning and doing science. The chapter seeks to explore the following questions framed by critical pedagogy and critical theories: What is citizen science and how does it raise critical consciousness in students from underrepresented groups? How is citizen science a space for equitable science teaching and learning space for all students? In what ways does citizen help students make sense of science learning and provides a context to challenge the dominant view of learning and doing science? How does citizen science make doing science a democratic practice for sociopolitical consciousness? As we answer these questions, we draw from critical theories and pedagogies where sociocultural contexts take a central space in understanding affordances of citizen science as a sociopolitical consciousness raising framework for teaching and learning.


Citizen science Sociopolitical consciousness Democracy Critical pedagogy Culture Science teaching Learning Marginalized 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. #1737633. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justine Oesterle
    • 1
  • Bhaskar Upadhyay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julie C. Brown
    • 2
  • Matthew Vernon
    • 1
  1. 1.Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.School of Teaching and LearningUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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