by Christina Ottander & Katarina Ottander (Umeå University, Sweden)
There is an initiative in Sweden to increase young peoples’ interest in science and technology and the Swedish government has put aside funding for different types of projects. Examples of some projects are the organization of workshops for teachers and the development of support material for teachers to be published on a government run web-site.
The partners from Umeå Universitet were first invited to give a presentation ofresults from projects, including PARRISE, that involve working with socio-scientific issues and using the SSIBL approach of teaching. After the presentation, we received an invitation from the National Agency for Education, the central administrative authority for the Swedish public school system, to produce support material for teaching the school subject “Science Studies”. We are now in the process of signing a contract with a budget of 30,000 Euros to work with four teachers to develop this support material.
The subject “Science Studies” is given to first year, upper secondary school students, who are not pursuing a career where science is a major component. The subject focuses on citizenship education in science and is, by nature, interdisciplinary, with a foundation in biology, physics, earth sciences, and chemistry. Science Studies covers health, energy, and sustainable development, which are areas of study with important issues on a personal, societal and global level. During autumn 2015 we will develop material based on the SSIBL framework, incorporating the dimensions of scientific and transdisciplinary knowledge, inquiry skills, values, and democratic deliberation. Hence, the initial presentation was a successful dissemination where we were able to communicate the goals and results of the PARRISE-project to key stakeholders for effective and wide dissemination of the project work.