Science and sustainability: evaluation of integration of science concepts with global issues.
In, National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada,
01 - 03 Apr 2004.
Science and Sustainability is an innovative Grade 10 SEPUP course which aims to integrate important concepts of science with the study of global sustainability in a motivating and interactive fashion to address National Science Education Standards. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent of integration in principle and in practice and is based on documentary analysis of the teaching materials and detailed analysis of a succession of evaluation questionnaires to teachers at field test centres. Integration happened effectively in principle, but contradictions were evident in teachers’ expectations of the balance between coverage of key science concepts and their contextualisation for citizenship. The course was considered very motivating with a high conceptual demand. The tensions between developing understanding of science concepts and encouraging wider skills of social responsibility are not easy to resolve. The maintenance of the sustainability concept throughout the course promoted change in teachers’ practice.
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