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Science Education for Responsible Citizenship seminar 26 February

The Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL) are delighted to host a seminar by Professor Ellen Hazelkorn on the topic of Science Education for Responsible Citizenship. This seminar will take place on Friday, 26th February, from 10:30-12.00 in S206 Engineering R&D (Stokes) Building, Dublin City University Glasnevin Campus. All are welcome to attend and coffee will be available from 10.00am. Please register in advance here.

Professor Ellen Hazelkorn holds a joint appointment as Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and Emeritus Professor and Director, Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland). She is also President of EAIR (European Higher Education Society) and Member of the Advisory Board and Management Committee of the ESRC/HEFCE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), at the Institute of Education, UCL. She was Chairperson of the EU Expert Group on Science Education (2014).

The Framework for Science Education for Responsible Citizenship was developed by an expert group which was tasked with identifying the main issues involved in helping citizens to access scientific debate, providing guidance on how industry can contribute to science education, and proposing a new framework for all types of science education that is responsive and meets the highest ethical standards.

While there has been an increase in recent years in the numbers of students with science qualifications, the report notes that there has not been a parallel rise in the numbers interested in pursuing science related careers.  It identifies approaches to equipping citizens, enterprise and industry in Europe with the skills and competences needed to provide sustainable and competitive solutions.  Addressing science education policy makers in particular, it recommends a more responsive science education that promotes broader participation in knowledge-based innovation that creates the highest ethical standards.

The Framework for Science Education for Responsible Citizenship identifies six key objectives and associated recommendations, which in combination, can help bring about the systemic changes required to generate a sustainable effect across our societies and in our communities:

  • Science education should be an essential component of a learning continuum for all, from pre-school to active engaged citizenship.
  • Science education should focus on competences with an emphasis on learning through science and shifting from STEM to STEAM by linking science with other subjects and disciplines.
  • The quality of teaching, from induction through pre-service preparation and in-service professional development, should be enhanced to improve the depth and quality of learning outcomes.
  • Collaboration between formal, non-formal and informal educational providers, enterprise and civil society should be enhanced to ensure relevant and meaningful engagement of all societal actors with science and increase uptake of science studies and science-based careers to improve employability and competitiveness.
  • Greater attention should be given to promoting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and enhancing public understanding of scientific findings and the capabilities to discuss their benefits and consequences.
  • Emphasis should be placed on connecting innovation and science education strategies, at local, regional, national, European and international levels, taking into account societal needs and global developments.


27th January, 2016

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