Ethics and Politics In Science

Learning Goal: We're unpacking our beliefs about senior science education

Learning Goal: We're reviewing what we've learned this year

Success Criteria: I'm looking for self-reflection and critical thinking, expressed through conversations and products

Born in 1798, Auguste Comte grew up in the wake of the French Revolution. He rejected religion and royalty, focusing instead on the study of society, which he named "sociology." He broke the subject into two categories: the forces holding society together ("social statics") and those driving social change ("social dynamics"). Comte's ideas and use of scientific methods greatly advanced the field.

Which field of science is the most important?

Data from California... we're not very different here. What are some things you notice about senior science enrollment? Why do you think that might be?

What evidence can you think of that science is popular in society? Unpopular?

The higher the status of a school subject, the less likely the outsiders or inside-outsiders (back to Costa 1995, Aikenhead 2001) are to engage in that subject. Students from some identifiable demographic groups are much less likely to choose science as a subject of study (Aydeniz, M., & Hodge, L. L. 2011).

There is also a serious gender problem in physics which remains the most androcentric science discipline at the university level (Dabney & Tai 2014). And it is not a question of conceptual understanding of the material (Barrett et al. 2012). We also know that role models may not be enough to change this since female and male students tend to rate their female physics teachers lower than their male physics teachers (Potvin et al. 2009).

Simply changing our orientation to senior high school science might be a first step (Habrowski, F. A., III, & Maton, K. I. 2009).

Besides, the more popular the senior chemistry and physics courses are, the more likely you are to get to teach the subjects you love.

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