During the last few years, many experts in the field of science education have been arguing that our future societies will need a larger number of individuals with a broader understanding of science both for their work and to enable them to participate as citizens in a democratic society. However, the current science curriculum at different levels is still presenting science as a body of knowledge which is value‐free, objective and lacking the contextual relevance to the future needs of young people. This contrasts with the fact that in most techno‐scientific information produced by the massmedia science is presented as a story in which social, political, ethical and economic issues are also involved. On the other hand, the highly time‐demanding task of teaching often conflicts with the teacher’s need of continuing their own education. Moreover, since most continuing education programmes are developed in main cities, teachers from small towns experience difficulties in having access to them. The aim of the present project was to create a posgraduate programme that offers contents that are generally not included in science teachers’ training (the role of science and technology in the contemporary World, the social and institutional nature of science, and the methodological and practical aspects of research) and to provide a virtual modality to attend the course. The resulting programme, designed by the Department of Education at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencia Sociales (FLACSO, Sede Argentina) was integrated in its Virtual Campus and until now has been offered in two editions.

During these 10‐month courses, the students were able to interact through 6 basic tools: virtual classes, tutorials, classroom forums, 2 workshops (Science teaching and Scientific writting), the virtual library and the café. As a result of this inniciative, 285 students coming from diferent educational levels (primary, secondary and university), geografical places and scientific disciplines have completed the course since 2006. As revealed by the plentiful discusions developed in the class forums and the results of our evaluation surveys, both the introduction of new contents and the virtual nature of the programme have shown to be a powerful tool to reach the proposed goals.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Building bridges between science education and science communication
A new context for learning and teaching science

Victoria Mendizabal   Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO, Sede Argentina)

Diego Golombek   Universidad Nacional de Quilmes

Silvia Finocchio   Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO, Sede Argentina)

Silvia Gojman   Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO, Sede Argentina)

During the last few years, many experts in the field of science education have been arguing that our future societies will need a larger number of individuals with a broader understanding of science both for their work and to enable them to participate as citizens in a democratic society. However, the current science curriculum at different levels is still presenting science as a body of knowledge which is value‐free, objective and lacking the contextual relevance to the future needs of young people. This contrasts with the fact that in most techno‐scientific information produced by the massmedia science is presented as a story in which social, political, ethical and economic issues are also involved. On the other hand, the highly time‐demanding task of teaching often conflicts with the teacher’s need of continuing their own education. Moreover, since most continuing education programmes are developed in main cities, teachers from small towns experience difficulties in having access to them. The aim of the present project was to create a posgraduate programme that offers contents that are generally not included in science teachers’ training (the role of science and technology in the contemporary World, the social and institutional nature of science, and the methodological and practical aspects of research) and to provide a virtual modality to attend the course. The resulting programme, designed by the Department of Education at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencia Sociales (FLACSO, Sede Argentina) was integrated in its Virtual Campus and until now has been offered in two editions.

During these 10‐month courses, the students were able to interact through 6 basic tools: virtual classes, tutorials, classroom forums, 2 workshops (Science teaching and Scientific writting), the virtual library and the café. As a result of this inniciative, 285 students coming from diferent educational levels (primary, secondary and university), geografical places and scientific disciplines have completed the course since 2006. As revealed by the plentiful discusions developed in the class forums and the results of our evaluation surveys, both the introduction of new contents and the virtual nature of the programme have shown to be a powerful tool to reach the proposed goals.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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