Science education is predominantly based on discipline oriented normal science as recorded in textbooks. But as both researchers and designing engineers know, not the scientific and technological stereotypes are the source of scientific discovery, as well as of technological invention and innovation. It is the deviation from rules and standards, which lead to new testable hypotheses. In many cases the emergence of unorthodox points of view, upon which path breaking approaches rely, is driven by the (explicit or implicit) orientation towards an application domain, and thus towards systems of interaction among humans and artifacts. Explicit or even implicit  discourses on such matters provoke ethical disputes or at least a moral underlay. The  hidden assumption here is that S&T whenever associated with systemic frameworks can be considered as unethical if judged on the basis of the impact they produce, and thus their moral integrity depends on the imposition of externally induced  regulation. This implies also that knowledge of moral and practical consequences of S&T is not an inherent feature of scientific knowledge. S&T are thus supposed to be independent from standards of accountability and social responsibility. This is the logic of external ethics which is a constitutive aspect of the idea of value free science, as well of the idea of technological determinism. The point we want to stress here is that if values are an inherent part of mental models, then understanding scientific and technological representations requires also understanding aesthetic and social values which constitute their background. This approach leads us to a quite different concept of science education, which is based not on the mere presentation of the output of widely accepted and institutionalized research, but on the way science and technology are being produced as a reflection of systemic imagination. I think that such an approach although impossible in terms of discipline oriented science education could be realistic if based on a problem oriented transdisciplinary approach.  In this paper I will try to discuss the case of science education aiming to digital literacy and understanding of informatics, a domain of knowledge in which science acquires meaning only if attached to the development of information systems including social interaction.-
 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Systems, ethics and problem oriented science education

Alexandros-Andreas Kyrtsis   University of Athens

Science education is predominantly based on discipline oriented normal science as recorded in textbooks. But as both researchers and designing engineers know, not the scientific and technological stereotypes are the source of scientific discovery, as well as of technological invention and innovation. It is the deviation from rules and standards, which lead to new testable hypotheses. In many cases the emergence of unorthodox points of view, upon which path breaking approaches rely, is driven by the (explicit or implicit) orientation towards an application domain, and thus towards systems of interaction among humans and artifacts. Explicit or even implicit  discourses on such matters provoke ethical disputes or at least a moral underlay. The  hidden assumption here is that S&T whenever associated with systemic frameworks can be considered as unethical if judged on the basis of the impact they produce, and thus their moral integrity depends on the imposition of externally induced  regulation. This implies also that knowledge of moral and practical consequences of S&T is not an inherent feature of scientific knowledge. S&T are thus supposed to be independent from standards of accountability and social responsibility. This is the logic of external ethics which is a constitutive aspect of the idea of value free science, as well of the idea of technological determinism. The point we want to stress here is that if values are an inherent part of mental models, then understanding scientific and technological representations requires also understanding aesthetic and social values which constitute their background. This approach leads us to a quite different concept of science education, which is based not on the mere presentation of the output of widely accepted and institutionalized research, but on the way science and technology are being produced as a reflection of systemic imagination. I think that such an approach although impossible in terms of discipline oriented science education could be realistic if based on a problem oriented transdisciplinary approach.  In this paper I will try to discuss the case of science education aiming to digital literacy and understanding of informatics, a domain of knowledge in which science acquires meaning only if attached to the development of information systems including social interaction.-
 

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