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

Curriculum Vitae

Weinstein, M., Pouliot, C., Martins, I., Levinson, R., Carter, L., & Bencze, L. (in development). Science education towards social and ecological justice: Provocations and conversations. Dordrecht: Springer.

This book consists of stories of struggles by a network of science educators working in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Britain, and the United States, who have continuously engaged, challenged and supported each other in making more socially/ecologically just models and practices of science education, broadly construed. At a time characterized by growing inequality, ecological crises, and rising nationalisms and racisms, education becomes a site of intensified practices both to resist these trends and to accelerate them. Science education, with its connections to what Latour has described as ‘fortified knowledges,’ is a critical nexus for struggles over key terms in our current zeitgeist, terms such as the environment, health, universalism, objectivity, authority, and nature itself. These stories capture individual efforts, motivated by a persistent sense that science and science education matter for questions of justice, and informed and nourished by an international research collective (represented by the authors of this volume) who have met regularly both in person and online to support and expand these political science education projects. In other words, this volume has to be seen as both individual reflections and a collective project. These stories enact reflections, reconsiderations, and working-through(s) of questions of relationships of science and education to issues of power; they are recoupings of science in a time of doubt, and doubtings of science in a time of polyvocal calls for justice. They seek to understand the ways that contradictions are created, and moreover, explore inherent contradictions in the practice of social justice in science education nexuses. These papers consider and rework the key-terms of current social justice: agency, realism, justice, and power. After a foreword by a prominent scholar in our field (to be announced), and a introduction written as a dialogue that explores the origins of our network, and how our conversations have informed our various projects, the book’s first section (tentatively) explores reinhabiting science in the quest for more just worlds including reterritorializing science within emergent theories of critical realism, engaging citizens activists with corporate science, and challenging neoliberalism and the forces that organize (structure) knowledge. The second section seeks to redefine praxis of science education itself through nuanced explorations of agency, decolonialism, and justice in ways that emphasize complexity, hybridity, ambivalence, and contradiction.

My chapter tentatively to be called: Promoting Critical & Altruistic Citizenship Through Science Education: A Contemporaneous Retrospective.

Return to C.V.