About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1708-1717
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1370

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

SCIENTIFIC LITERACY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY

A. Costa1, M. Loureiro1, M. Ferreira2

1Universidade da Beira Interior (PORTUGAL)
2Instituto Politécnico da Guarda (PORTUGAL)
In the 21st century, citizens need to accompany the scientific and technological developments that are now emerging at an accelerated pace. The information that reaches them in different manners and across different communication platforms requires processing and assimilation to subsequently be applied in active participation in society. This is precisely the point of origin of studies adopting the education-science-technology-society perspective to develop a critique of society’s participation in the debate on the ways that science and technology should advance. The idea of developing a collective cognitive potential enables citizens to understand reality, granting them a valid direction in life and thereby making its material action on society more effective. This active civic participation in the social collective foundations should be socio-scientific in nature, that is, more than having some basic set of scientific knowledges, citizens should also hold a vision of how these skills relate to other events in society, why they are important and what vision of the world derives from them. This formulation fits one possible definition of the term Scientific Literacy. Scientific literacy, itself, represents a construct displaying an organic and not static dimension that had grown and branched out into different areas and hence the crucial relevance in tracing the conceptual developments of recent years.

In this research, we selected the 250 most cited papers between 2000-2010. Then it was performed a systematic review of the literature regarding the scientific literacy construct, through a qualitative analysis using the NVivo software. The results pointed to the intersection between scientific literacy and the following four dimensions: concepts and ideas about science, nature of science, the interaction of science and society and appreciation and enjoyment of science. This allows observing a mutation in the definition of literacy throughout that decade, which accompanied the economic, social and cultural transformations in society.

According to the results, we conclude that scientific literacy acquired a deictic nature, while is a construct that changes the meaning when the context in which it operates is modified. This clearly constitutes a huge difficulty to the elaboration of any universally accepted definition. Although this fact makes it difficult to draw up, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, scientific literacy is defined as a multidimensional construct, characterized by a composite of concepts and ideas about science, about the nature of science and about the interaction of science and society.

In this sense, a study like this it´s important because it allows framing the scientific literacy today. A definition, as faithfully as possible, of this construction allow decision makers to define public policies for the promotion of scientific culture, which is essential for regular citizens´ engagement in scientific and technology issues.
@InProceedings{COSTA2017SCI,
author = {Costa, A. and Loureiro, M. and Ferreira, M.},
title = {SCIENTIFIC LITERACY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1370},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1370},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1708-1717}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Costa AU - M. Loureiro AU - M. Ferreira
TI - SCIENTIFIC LITERACY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1370
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1708
EP - 1717
ER -
A. Costa, M. Loureiro, M. Ferreira (2017) SCIENTIFIC LITERACY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1708-1717.
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