Naturvetenskaplig utbildning för demokrati och hållbar utveckling : licentiatavhandling i Naturvetenskap med utbildningsvetenskaplig inriktning

Sammanfattning: This licentiate dissertation is about the democratic aspects of science education. 264 student teachers provided their written reflections on various arguments for scientific knowledge and literacy, often situating these in relation to their own school experiences. Many of them believe that scientific literacy is necessary, particularly for dealing with social issues related to nature and the environment. Also, many of them have missed - and are now requesting - democratic arguments in science education, describing current methods of science education as difficult, boring, and old-fashioned. They are surprised to see that scientific literacy and education can be motivated for democratic purposes, but they also report experiencing a clash between democracy and science with regard to both content and educational methods.The lack of democracy aspects in science education and the contrast between subject matter and democracy form the starting point of this project, which problematises the relationship between teachers' two main tasks: teaching subject matter and fostering democratic citizens. Supported by socio-cultural perspectives on learning as well as research into the importance of dialogue for education in both subject matter and democratic competence, I propose that dialogue-based efforts could help bridge the gap between subject matter and democracy in science education. By democracy, I primarily refer to deliberative processes in which participants engage in mutual communication to discover how well their own and others' arguments hold up when seen from a universal perspective. The idea that deliberative discussions are of both democratic and educational importance suggests that this type of dialogue can be seen as one possibility to integrate the teaching of subject matter and democratic competence.I suggest that education for sustainable development is a conceivable way to integrate discussions about complex social issues and scientific facts. I also outline a possible teaching scenario in which pupils engage in deliberative discussions on a theme involving these areas.