Perspectives: Societal Issues in Science by: Patrick L. Brown and Sandra K. Abell

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When students investigate local issues in science class, they gain research and critical-thinking skills while improving their attitudes toward science. However, since many societal issues are controversial, it is important to create a safe and risk-free classroom climate where students can discuss their ideas, personal needs, experiences, and responsibilities. This article discribes some strategies that will help students to use science to make personal and societal decisions.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
4/1/2009

Community ActivitySaved in 47 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:23 PM

After I read this article, I learned that when students investigate local issues in science, they can improve their critical-thinking skills and problem solving skills. They make use of all available resources to solve their problems. Thus, Brown and Abell (2009) say, “students had more positive attitudes toward science, applied science in complex situations, and reported talking about science more in their homes and in the community,” which benefits students a lot. In addition, studying societal issues in science can enhance the sense of citizenship of the students. For example, students will turn off lights when not in use after they learn about global warming. They can use their knowledge in their lives. There are several strategies for teachers to teach societal issues in science class. First, teachers should come up with some societal issues which are meaningful and relevant to students’ lives. Next, it is important to offer students an open and supportive learning environment. Thus, students can discuss their problems with their group members. In this way, students can not only increase their knowledge, but also enhance their communication skills. In my future class, I will try my best to create a warm and active climate for my students. I like this strategy.

Yu Ni
Yu Ni

  • on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:10 PM

This brief article was written to address the issue of how students can be taught to use science to help them make personal and societal decisions. The authors discuss why students must be able to consider both sides of an issue, make informed decisions, and why they should see themselves as participating members of the community. They believe that when students investigate local issues in their science class, they gain research and critical-thinking skills while improving their attitudes toward science. The authors talked about how students gained appreciation for different types of resources such as; books, encyclopedias, newspaper and magazine articles, and minutes of public hearings. They discussed the results of the student’s attitudes toward science, applied science in complex situations, and reported talking about science more in their homes and in their community. They also discussed the benefits of using societal issues as curriculum organizers that help students develop lifelong skills, confidence, and motivation to evaluate and act upon issues that affect their lives.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

  • on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:30 PM

This fairly recent article discusses the science standard that says children should use science to make personal and societal decisions. For an elementary teacher who has little experience with this area, this article describes what a unit might look like that has societal issues. It describes how students benefit and develop skills in citizenship. More importantly, this article explains how a teacher can help support this need and therefore address this important standard.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)


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