About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4815-4821
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

INNOVATION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION: COMBINING SCIENCE WITH ETHICS AND POLITICS

A. McGowan

Eugene Lang College,The New School for Liberal Arts (UNITED STATES)
In a world filled with advances in science together with science related threats such as global warming, as well as science and medical issues such as genetic information which is often very difficult to absorb, it is essential that more students, future adult citizens, understand more science than they do now. Current science teaching has not accomplished the job of general science education, and the data indicate that students in the United States are poorly informed about science issues. The situation is not much better in many other parts of the world. The data also indicate that public understanding of science is minimal; although there is a core of people who feel themselves well informed, most adults feel inadequate in understanding and dealing with scientific and technological issues. The scientific community has a huge responsibility to better inform the general public about science issues that are going to affect their lives directly.

One way to accomplish this task is to radically increase the number of general education courses in science, particularly those that will attract large numbers of students. In the small liberal arts college where I teach, and where there are no science requirements, we have developed a number of courses which combine the social aspects of science, ethics, politics, and the like, with the science itself. It has been very successful, and many students take the courses who profess to hate science, and who otherwise would not take a science course. This paper will describe innovative courses that I teach with this approach, Genes and Race, The Science and Politics of the Atomic Bomb, and Energy and Sustainability. Student enthusiasm for such courses is high, and the courses are fully enrolled, mostly with non-science students. There are some disadvantages to this approach, and they will be discussed, along with the advantages.
@InProceedings{MCGOWAN2011INN,
author = {McGowan, A.},
title = {INNOVATION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION: COMBINING SCIENCE WITH ETHICS AND POLITICS},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4815-4821}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. McGowan
TI - INNOVATION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION: COMBINING SCIENCE WITH ETHICS AND POLITICS
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 4815
EP - 4821
ER -
A. McGowan (2011) INNOVATION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION: COMBINING SCIENCE WITH ETHICS AND POLITICS, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 4815-4821.
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