The trouble of cultural values in science education


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The Trouble of Cultural Values in Science Education: Towards the Construction of the European Model of Science in Society. Communication presented as co-author ¬at the XIV IOSTE Symposium: “Socio-cultural and Human Values in Science and Technology Education”.

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The trouble of cultural values in science education

  1. 1. The trouble with cultural values in Science Education: Towards the construction of the European Model of Science in Society. <ul><li>Alexandro Escudero Nahón </li></ul>Diana Farías Camero XIV IOSTE Symposium Socio-cultural and Human Values in Science and Technology Education
  2. 2. Introduction Lack of interest and negative attitudes toward science and technology amongst the youth. A decline in the number of students signing up for doctorate programs in science. A decline in the number of students choosing to study science Future of science in Europe => Lisbon 2019 Osborne, J., & Dillon, J. (2008). Science Education in Europe: Critical reflections . London: The Nuffield Foundation.
  3. 3. <ul><li>The studies try to identify the causes of this situation and suggest actions of intervention. </li></ul><ul><li>The interpretation of results of international studies that surveyed the opinion of the youth with respect to science, have given rise to models that attempt to restructure the relationship between science and society. </li></ul>Introduction
  4. 4. <ul><li>What kind of role should science play in society, such that the variety of social actors across Europe agree about it? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there something like a “special” European model for science in society? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it at all possible to define the “adequate” place for science in society? </li></ul>Introduction Need to look at the way results has been interpreted
  5. 5. <ul><li>This is not empirical research, but a theoretical reflection about the relationship that connects three issues: </li></ul>Introduction <ul><ul><li>1. Culture as an analytical category </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Identity as a subjective dimension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Science and technology as social issues. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Young learners, 15 years old, from more than 40 countries have expressed their views on several aspects related to S&T. </li></ul><ul><li>The project analyzed results based on gender and cultural explanations (comparisons between countries). </li></ul>What do we analyze?
  7. 7. Interesting results from Rose Project T he more developed a country is, the smaller the interest its youth had in S&T.
  8. 8. Interesting results from Rose Project Not so evident relationships!! Why do boys from developed countries, like the other boys and girls from developing countries, think that science and technology can solve all of the environmental problems, and that the solution is to be left to the experts; while the girls of those same developed countries, along with Japanese boys and girls, appear to be more skeptical and critical in the face of the role of science?
  9. 9. <ul><li>These kinds of results have been interpreted, like others, from the perspective of cultural differences. </li></ul>Nevertheless the category culture does not seem useful in trying to explain them. How to read it?
  10. 10. <ul><li>Regarding the models that suggest restructuring a new relationship between science and society, this report puts special value on the categories culture, multiculture and pluriculture as ground conditions for democratic participation. </li></ul>Appealing to culture
  11. 11. <ul><li>The problem that arises when using the concept of culture in interpreting and in trying to reconfigure the relationship between science and society, is the same problem that the social sciences face when trying to reformulate the concept of cosmopolitan citizenship. </li></ul>Appealing to culture
  12. 12. Looking from different coordinates <ul><li>The concept of culture, conceived during the 18th century with the impetus of european colonialism, brings out problems when it defines the role of the postmodern subject of post-industrial and global societies. </li></ul>They have identified that this notion has been used as a pretext to justify diverse types of discriminations against individuals of their own culture, always arguing that the strength of tradition should be submitted to the individual's agency. K. A. Appiah S. Benhabib M. Nussbaum W. Kymlica
  13. 13. Looking from different coordinates Introducing culture, multiculturalism, interculturalism or pluriculturalism when describing present societies we make the mistake of understanding them as homogeneous, unified, holistic and self-coherent groups, that have no interior conflict, where the strength of tradition submits particular identities. In current science education research, are we falling into making the same errors that social sciences have evidenced in the past?
  14. 14. <ul><li>Nowadays the category culture does not allow us to explain social phenomena in contemporary societies where its people do not base their identity using conventional references such as nationality, language, sex, age or race. </li></ul><ul><li>Identity appears as a more flexible, relativist and presentist category that would explain more accurately the everyday dynamics of the youth. </li></ul>Finally … some remarks Youth culture Youth identities
  15. 15. … some considerations <ul><li>1. Transcend some of the limitations of gender that modern cultures imposes: boys study different things that women. </li></ul>2. Transcend the territorial limitations of modern cultures where the place of birth restricts the existential horizon: the problems to solve are planetary not national. 3. Transcend the limitations of “equality”, starting from thinking of how different we are, and focusing on what we have in common. 4. Exercise autonomy, which eventually implies resisting or opposing the ideas or beliefs of the group: invention, creative production, innovation, have more possibilities of occurring when thinking &quot;out of the box&quot;.
  16. 16. and some questions <ul><li>Is it possible to strengthen the European Model of Science in Society using categories that transcend the culture and that stress, for example, on ideas, persons and networks? </li></ul>Why insist on using culture to interpret the attitudes and opinions of the youth about science and technology? Why not look to other categories less evident and subjective as identity?
  17. 17. <ul><li>Alexandro Escudero Nahón </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] u </li></ul>Diana Farías Camero [email_address]