SIG 4 Symposium – Addressing Complexity in Science|Environment|Health Pedagogy

In recent time, science knowledge embedded in complex contexts and its classroom potential classroom has become one focus of the Science|Environment|Health ESERA Special Interest Group. A helpful concept for addressing complexity and its inherent unpredictability is that of ephemeral mechanisms, which do not support predictions, but allow explanations and narrative generalizations and support improved understanding of the nature of science. This symposium presents research examples of complex heterogeneous systems in the realm of Science|Environ¬ment|Health. Sjöström, Hasslöf and Lundström deal with nanontechnology as an example of complexity. They are interested in how pre-service teachers design lessons and discuss nano-education.  They analyze transcripts from group interviews using different post-positivistic and postmodern theoretical frameworks. Arnold conceives the issue of sugar consumption and type 2 diabetes as a field of complex decision-making. She tests whether difference health knowledge types can be isolated by Multidimensional Rash analysis in order to measure their respective influence on decision making. Sprenger, Benninghaus, and Kremer research approaches to environmental education about challenges and solutions in the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary contexts of water scarcity and climate change. In particular, they explore concept maps as means to assess students’ understanding of these complex SSI problems. Alvaro, Mayoral, and Gavidia investigate if Spanish students (ages 6-16) acquire environmental health competences through compulsory education. Their study concludes that students at the end of their compulsory studies acquire some competences in environmental health, but not those necessary to recognize environmental problems that affect health, and that they do not show a predisposition towards environmental action. The symposium is conceived as a starting point to further research on complexity in Science|Environment|Health.