Teaching Societal Issues

I was recently reading the July/August 2022 issue of “The Science Teacher” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association.  In this issue, I read the Editor’s Corner, written by Ann Haley MacKenzie.  She wrote a column entitles, “Teaching Societal Issues in the Science Classroom.”  

By incorporating societal issues into our classrooms, we provide students a chance to explore topics in depth, instead of simply glossing over the content.  Here are some reasons to include societal issues in science courses:

–These issues justify information included in science courses.

–Societal issues allow students to find science classes relevant to their daily lives.  

–These societal issues enable teachers to evaluate student success at application and synthesis of ideas.

–Infusing societal issues defines the teacher’s role to be “facilitator” and relegates the textbook’s / digital learning platform status to “information sources.”

–These issues may allow for increased scientific understanding of concepts, ased on cognitive theories of learning.