WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Hoeg, D., Lemelin, N., & Bencze, J.L. (2015). Socio-political development of private school children mobilising for disadvantaged others. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 10(4), 1155–1174.

A contemporary focus on democratic decision-making has occurred in school science through curricular developments such as socioscientific issues (SSIs) and Science, Technology, Society and Environment (STSE), creates opportunities for inclusion of activist education. However, it appears these components are often taught, if at all, as simply add-on content. Private schools represent a domain of education that has received relatively little attention in research literature regarding sociopolitical activism for addressing SSIs. In this study, we aimed to document the extent to which private school students were able to implement socioscientific activism and to map their socio-political development in the context of a project on child labour. Data collected from student projects and interviews indicate, in many cases, dramatic development of socially critical views and activist orientations that took place over time, and in various steps. A discussion of the factors enabling students’ activist development, such as the school culture, the curriculum, and their teacher, are discussed.

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