Upon completion of the course, the student can:
- Mention and reflect upon (some) topical issues and developments in the field of science education & communication;
- Describe and apply the major ‘theoretical frameworks’ for development, implementation and evaluation of innovative projects in the field of science education & communication;
- Being able to describe, analyze and reflect on presented issues and developments.
Science is a human activity evoking a number reactions such as curiosity, enthusiasm, disinterest, and resistance among the general public and relevant stakeholders. On the one hand, scientific developments find their way into society and (might) affect our daily lives, while on the other hand societal demands (might) influence the future research agenda and the development of new and innovative science products and events. Proper communication and education is of critical importance to bring forward the intended messages to the target audience, or to develop in co-creation with segments of the public the relevant and needed knowledge and products.
Examples of topical issues and developments that take a prominent place in current debates are, among others, diversity & inclusion (e.g. how to organize science such that everybody feels welcome to participate and becomes engaged), democratizing science & public engagement (e.g. how to involve the general public in the formulation of the future research agenda), implementing teaching approaches (such as integrated science, context-based science curricula or realistic mathematics education) or new communication interventions to address socio-scientific issues (such as sustainability, climate change or feeding the world population). Through studying case studies from recent history dealing with issues as described above we will gain insight in the dynamics of such processes. We can ask ourselves, what, in retrospect, can we learn from these initiatives? What could be reasons for failure, or for unexpected results or successes? We will discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of a variety of initiatives and strategies taking into account the role of the different actors, from the policy level down to the general public, including (where appropriate) school management, individual teachers and science communicators.