Recent efforts in the science education community have highlighted the need to integrate research and theory from science communication research into more general science education scholarship. These synthesized research perspectives are relatively novel but serve an important need to better understand the impacts that the advent of rapidly emerging technologies will have on a new generation of scientists and engineers including their formal communication with engaged citizenry. This cross-national study examined postsecondary science and engineering students' (n = 254 from five countries: Austria, Finland, France, Israel, and USA) perspectives on the role of science communication in their own formal science and engineering education. More broadly, we examined participants' understanding of their perceived responsibilities of communicating science and engineering to the general public when an issue contains complex social and ethical implications (SEI). The study is contextualized in the emergent technology of nanotechnology for which SEI are of particular concern and for which the general public often perceives conflicting risks and benefits. Findings indicate that student participants' hold similar views on the need for their own training in communication as future scientists and engineers. When asked about the role that ethics and risk perception plays in research, development, and public communication of nanotechnology, participants demonstrate similar trajectories of perspectives that are, however, often anchored in very different levels of beginning concern. Results are discussed in the context of considerations for science communication training within formal science education curricula globally.
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) stands at the center of several EU projects and represents a contemporary view of the connection between science and society. The goal of RRI is to create a shared understanding of the appropriate behaviors of governments, business and NGOs which are central to building trust and confidence of the public and other stakeholders in research and innovation. In this paper we describe a 4.5 hour lesson, "The Story of Lead,'' which was developed for teaching RRI to high school chemistry students, based on the historical story of lead. The lesson is part of a larger module. The lesson connects the chemistry curriculum, related to the scientific aspects of lead, to the 6 RRI dimensions. We describe the progression of the lesson, provide relevant links and teaching materials, and present responses of teachers, after they tried out the lesson. The RRI dimensions are compared to prior work done in the field of Socioscientific Issues (SSI). Based on this evidence, we suggest that the lesson can be a good introduction to the topic of RRI in chemistry classrooms.
One of the challenges, nanoscience and technology (NST) encounters is education. Dealing with this challenge resulted in many educational programs, curricula, and modules in the area of NST. However, in order to establish an adequate basis for developing the educational aspect of NST there is a need to determine the NST concepts that should be taught. To address this issue, it is required to map the essential concepts constructing NST and to design suitable educational programs upon these concepts. In this chapter we review studies that were conducted to address this need.
The internet has influenced all aspects of modern society, yet likely none more than education-opening new possibilities for how, where, and when we learn. Nanoscience and nanotechnology have developed over a similar time frame as the rapid growth of the internet and thus the use of the internet for nanoscience education serves as an interesting paradigm for internet-enabled education in general. In this chapter we give an overview of use of internet in nanoeducation, first in terms of available resources, then by describing the technological, philosophical, and pedagogical approaches. In order to illustrate the concepts, we describe as example a for-credit nanoscience curriculum which the authors developed recently as part of an international team.
This study focused on teachers' transfer of a variety of teaching methods from a teaching module on nanotechnology, which is an example of a topic outside the science curriculum, to teaching topics that are part of the chemistry curriculum. Nanotechnology is outside the science curriculum, but it was used in this study as a means to carry out a change in the way chemistry teachers teach. The participants in the study included nine high school in-service chemistry teachers. Three research tools were used: (1) semistructured interviews that were conducted with the teachers, after they had finished teaching their nanotechnology module, and follow-up semistructured interviews that were conducted 2 years after the teachers had taught the nanotechnology module , and teachers' assessment and evaluation of their own teaching method, determining how the nanotechnology modules influenced the students who learned according to this program. The data collection process continued for 5 years. Most of the teachers indicated that they continued teaching the nanotechnology module that they designed and all of them stated that they integrated the unique teaching methods into their teaching of chemistry. High efficacy beliefs were built based on the self-evaluation process that was part of the teachers' professional development program. Teaching self-efficacy beliefs and organization efficacy beliefs was found to contribute to teachers' sustainable changes. The findings in the current research are only limited to the topic of nanotechnology; however, we believe that similar results can be obtained for any modern scientific topic that is outside the high school science curriculum. We suggest that more research should be done to determine whether the same findings emerge by using the same approach but on another topic.
The goals of this study are to map applications of nanotechnology that are recommended to be taught in high-school science and to identify the 'need-to-know' essential nanoscale science and technology (NST) concepts for each of the selected nanotechnology applications. A Delphi study using a community of experts was used to address these goals. Five nanotechnology applications that should be taught in high-school science were found to be important and reached a consensus by the Delphi-study experts: (1) nanomedicine, (2) nanoelectronics, (3) photovoltaic cells, (4) nanobots, and (5) self-cleaning. It was found that teaching these five nanotechnology applications should be based on all seven NST concepts, and therefore, these applications can be used as an appealing context for teaching the essential NST concepts. The different recommendations between the two communities of experts emphasize the importance of involving teachers and scientists in the process of designing a scientific curriculum. Identifying the applications of nanotechnology that should be taught in high-school science and identifying the connections between the applications and the essential NST concepts constitute an important step that supports designing a context-based nanotechnology program before it is integrated into a high-school science curriculum.
We examined how social network (SN) groups contribute to the learning of chemistry. The main goal was to determine whether chemistry learning could occur in the group discourse. The emphasis was on groups of students in the 11th and 12th grades who learn chemistry in preparation for their final external examination. A total of 1118 discourse events were tallied in the different groups. We analyzed the different events that were found in chemistry learning Facebook groups (CLFGs). The analysis revealed that seven types of interactions were observed in the CLFGs: The most common interaction (47 %) dealt with organizing learning (e.g., announcements regarding homework, the location of the next class); learning interactions were observed in 22 % of the posts, and links to learning materials and social interactions constituted about 20 % each. The learning events that were ascertained underwent a deeper examination and three different types of chemistry learning interactions were identified. This examination was based on the theoretical framework of the commognitive approach to learning (Sfard in Thinking as communicating. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008), which will be explained. The identified learning interactions that were observed in the Facebook groups illustrate the potential of SNs to serve as an additional tool for teachers to advance their students' learning of chemistry.
Intellectually gifted students think and learn differently from other students in the classroom. It is important to teach them appropriately because excellence does not emerge without appropriate help. However, the interactions between gifted students and their teachers in a regular classroom have not been extensively studied. The current study focuses on this important factor, which could either promote or hinder the development of gifted students.
The current study aims at better understanding the factors that promote and hinder chemistry teachers in teaching a gifted student in their regular chemistry class. In addition, it provides evidence of ways that teachers perceive a professional development course dealing with a gifted student in a mixed-abilities science classroom. Eighty-four photonarratives were collected from 14 chemistry teachers that participated in the course about teaching a gifted student in a regular classroom(41 promoting, 43 hindering factors). Factors that concern chemistry education specifically as well as general practices were raised by the teachers. The teachers were asked to "take a picture" (namely, of an external object or person); they considered most of the factors to be internal factors that are dependent on themselves and therefore concluded that they have the power to influence them. The internal factors can be addressed in the PD course; however the external factors should be managed by the school principal and district educational administration.