The boundaries between science education and communication are blurring; learning science takes place in schools as well as in informal environments. What can science communicators learn from science education research when it comes to dealing with socioscientific issues (SSI), e.g. whether or not to have a genetic test in the genomics era?

In Utrecht University a project is running on genomics education and communication for citizenship. This is a project of the Cancer Genomics Centre and the Centre for Society and Genomics, funded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative and based the Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education. The project aims at embedding genomics in science education in terms of curriculum documents and in-service education of teachers. Simultaneously patient organisations and genomics researchers are being empowered for dialoguing on the cancer genomics research agenda and related socioscientific issues. Empowering focuses on conceptual understanding, clarifying the values and moral principles at stake and on raising awareness of different knowledge modes and how these interact.z

In the last decade socioscientific issues are getting growing attention from science education researchers, e.g. the role of moral reasoning and discourse in science education. Ethical debate put high demands on teacher competencies and this issue is being addressed as well: how to support decision-making processes and how to balance facts and values.

Currently a review study is being carried out, which will be complemented by an international invitational expert workshop. Both educational researchers and practitioners will be invited to discuss the review study and formulate design criteria, which will be fed into our education and communication (research) activities. Two years ago a similar workshop, entitled ‘Rethinking science curricula in the genomics era’ was held (see http://bit.ly/bgqtAz). This paper will report the review study and the preliminary results of the invitational workshop with special attention to the implications of science education research on SSI for science
communication in informal settings.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Formal and informal learning on socioscientific issues
What science education research says to the science communicator

Arend Waarlo   Utrecht University, Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education [FISME]

The boundaries between science education and communication are blurring; learning science takes place in schools as well as in informal environments. What can science communicators learn from science education research when it comes to dealing with socioscientific issues (SSI), e.g. whether or not to have a genetic test in the genomics era?

In Utrecht University a project is running on genomics education and communication for citizenship. This is a project of the Cancer Genomics Centre and the Centre for Society and Genomics, funded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative and based the Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education. The project aims at embedding genomics in science education in terms of curriculum documents and in-service education of teachers. Simultaneously patient organisations and genomics researchers are being empowered for dialoguing on the cancer genomics research agenda and related socioscientific issues. Empowering focuses on conceptual understanding, clarifying the values and moral principles at stake and on raising awareness of different knowledge modes and how these interact.z

In the last decade socioscientific issues are getting growing attention from science education researchers, e.g. the role of moral reasoning and discourse in science education. Ethical debate put high demands on teacher competencies and this issue is being addressed as well: how to support decision-making processes and how to balance facts and values.

Currently a review study is being carried out, which will be complemented by an international invitational expert workshop. Both educational researchers and practitioners will be invited to discuss the review study and formulate design criteria, which will be fed into our education and communication (research) activities. Two years ago a similar workshop, entitled ‘Rethinking science curricula in the genomics era’ was held (see http://bit.ly/bgqtAz). This paper will report the review study and the preliminary results of the invitational workshop with special attention to the implications of science education research on SSI for science
communication in informal settings.

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

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