From our #NewTeacherVoices series, here’s guest blogger Collin Crowell. Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Tweet at @creative_change or email santone [at] creativechange.net.
Science education needs to be fluid because the things we learn are always changing. We need to adapt to situations and be able to apply ourselves to improve the world around us in order to improve the democracy we are a part of. It’s a good thing that science can fix problems that we would otherwise have no control over; however, how much control is too much control? Why does society focus on fixing problems rather than preventing them?
The consequences of actions are the reason why science is both incredibly helpful and potentially detrimental. The world is complex and if you would change something without looking into all aspects it could potentially affect, then multiple systems could be influenced dramatically. A perfect example of this is the industrial revolution, a time where human development was at its peak, but also when copious amounts of carbon dioxide was unnaturally released into the earth’s atmosphere. This is a serious consequence.
Schools need to incorporate the ethical dimensions of science into their curriculum. Curriculum should emphasize the consequences of research and experiments and the prevention of problems rather than fixing them. Sustainability and democratic education are the tools to facilitate the ethical dimensions of science education.
Science moves faster than morality. Morality dictates ethics. We discover things and try them out only to find that what we thought would be okay turned out to be detrimental for something directly or indirectly related (DDT for instance). Solving ignorance is impossible; however, the right education can give students–our upcoming policymakers and scientists–proper ethics to ensure a positive and rewarding future.
Collin Crowell is a secondary education major with focus on Biology and a minor in Chemistry at Eastern Michigan University. He’s also the president of the rugby football club at EMU. His interests in science education are focused on cellular biology, biochemistry, and sustainability.