WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto
Humans' actions to address harms associated with fields of science and technology.

On this page, starting with this  overview, you can find resources to support personal and social actions that students (citzens) may take (based on research & negotiation [and teaching, etc.]) to address harms they determine in relationships among fields of science and technology and societies and environments (STSE).

If you have any comments, questions, etc. about this project or would like to join it, please contact me by email.

Action Types. Rationale.  Resources.

Socio-political Action Types
People have many choices of socio-political action types

Some different ways that students and others can act to address harms they determine in STSE relationships are depicted here - with a few examples linked below:

People may choose actions for different reasons, including how their 'talents' (e.g., language- vs. arts-based) may best be used, along with how effective might be their actions.

Our research strongly indicates that larger-scale changes in societies can come when people use several actions that cooperate with each other as a network of actions - such as uses of social media to distribute a message.

Many students choose to develop educational forms of action. For example, students carried out  secondary (e.g., Internet-based) and primary (e.g., a study) before developing the video at left - in which they encourage people to re-consider drinking water from plastic water bottles. This is, in other words, a very good example of students' research-informed and negotiated (RiNA) projects.

By itself, this video seems quite effective. It was networked, to some extent, by being posted to YouTube™. Posters, pamphlets, school announcements and a Twitter campaign may also have helped.

Some other effective video act
ions include:
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Rationale for Promoting Civic Actions in School Science
Encouraging youth to develop and carry out personal and social actions to - perhaps somewhat altruistically - make a better world seems essential. Humanity is facing many potential and realized harms - like diseases (e.g. cancer, diabetes & heart disease) from fast foods, devastation from climate change linked to fossil fuel uses; privacy invasions from electronic surveilance and dependencies from popular entertainment. Although there are, likely, several reasons to explain the extent and persistence of such harms, there is much evidence and argument to suggest that ultimate culpability rests with pro-capitalist individuals (e.g., financiers) and groups (e.g., corporations, think tanks [e.g., Atlas Foundation], transnational trade organization [e.g., WTO]), which appear to have orchestrated many other entities in the world in ways promoting private profit - including many fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics ('STEM'). Often, as claimed by Dr. Sheldon Krimsky via the link at right, capitalist supports have led people in STEM fields to make decisions about topics, inquiry design and reporting and uses of results that mainly benefit a small number of capitalists. Such influences appear to have been effective, judging from how wealth is now concentrated into few (e.g., 6) hands. Such wealth concentration appears to be directly associated with many personal, social and environmental harms like those noted above. In light of such problematic STSE relationships, it seems imperative that school science (for one!) work to help students become more critical of how STEM fields are being used for private interests and to take actions to address their concerns.

Resources for Socio-political Actions
Although developing and taking actions to make a better world is very personal, people may benefit from resources linked at right.

Some relevant reading also may help; e.g.,
Sources of Topics
STSE Issues List.
Global Issues.
Science Case Collection.
Tools for Research
Experiments vs. Studies.
Google Forms (tables & graphs).
Analyze Text.
Types of Actions
Making petitions: A, B, C.
InfoGraphic Maker.
Podcase Maker.
Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.
Toronto 350.
Me to We.

Leap Manifesto.
No Child for Sale.
Kids Right to Know.
People for Good.
Lead Now.
Beyond Factory Farming.
Seeds of Diversity.
Public Space Committee.

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