chapter  3
4 Marginalization of socio-scientific material in science–technology–society science curricula
Pages 14

Science-technology-society (STS), environmental and feminist movements over

the past three decades, combined with developments in the philosophy and soci-

ology of science, have increasingly placed science curricula under scrutiny. On the

one hand, science education is deemed to be out of touch with society, leaving

pupils poorly equipped to deal with a complex modern world of scientific and tech-

nological controversy; on the other hand, science education is considered elitist,

perpetuating under-representation of certain groups in science (Driver et al. 1996;

Fensham 1993). Feminist critics of science, for example, have argued that the

power embedded in masculine discourses of science reproduces the subordination

of women and that the lack of women in science is one outcome (Harding, S. 1986,

1991). Providing science curricula with a social context by inclusion of STS issues

in the curriculum has been viewed both as a means of promoting socio-scientific

awareness of the social, political and economic dimensions to science and as

opening up science to females and excluded or disadvantaged ethnic and class

groups. Following early controversy, STS has now gained recognition and some

science syllabuses have been adapted and redeveloped with one or more of these

aims in mind.