NARST: Promoting Students’ Critical and Activist Engagement in Socio-scientific Problems:
There are many potential problems for individuals, societies and environments associated with influences of powerful national and transnational networks of agents (actants), including: financiers, banks, think tanks, technological infrastructure, transnational trade organizations and agreements, scientists and engineers, universities, governments, military entities, advertisements, entertainment, etc. Among our many problems, perhaps the most serious is devastation from climate change linked to fossil fuel uses. Many scholars recommend, accordingly, that school science not only enlighten students about such problems and encourage them to make personal decisions about controversies, but also prepare them for taking socio-political actions that might bring about a better world. In this symposium, international scholars in science education discuss their uses and analyses of a curricular and pedagogical framework intended to facilitate such critical and activist science education. After a theoretical defense of the framework, a description will be provided of a teacher’s 3-year efforts to use it in his secondary school science teaching. This will be followed by three presentations of theoretical analyses of the framework by scholars from three countries (Australia, Brazil & Canada), including in terms of: discursive psychology, neoliberalism, critical discourse analysis of well-being, professional development and network mobilization in informal (online gaming) and formal school science and teacher education contexts.