Today’s students will be making the decisions that affect not only their lives, but ours as well, as our young people will be determining the social and political processes that implement the policies that shape the journey of science.
This course aims to assist teachers and their adolescent students to think critically and to make sound decisions on complex contemporary scientific issues, with an emphasis on understanding conflicting motives. The teacher develops a critical-thinking framework consistent with the diverse personal convictions of students and of their community. The course material goes beyond the usual topics that have already been treated extensively (global warming, habitat destruction, etc.) and considers modern issues such as stem cell research, genetically modified food, DNA testing, gene therapy, and other emergent issues in science. In addition, teachers will better understand the interrelationship of society and science both historically and in contemporary contexts and examine how religion, community, government, and other components inform the progress of science.
Although the science content is rich, it is not necessarily technical and can benefit teachers in all disciplines. Participants work on their own pace and are not required to be online or present at any specific time.
Upon completion of this course, teachers will:
embrace a critical thinking model for addressing sensitive issues in science from multiple viewpoints
understand how science has been influenced by government and society in historical and modern times
understand the bias of Internet information
become informed about critical contemporary issues in science
be able to guide students in determining their personal scientific truth
The course may be taken for 500-level graduate credit, 400-level undergraduate credit, or continuing education units and may be applicable for recertification or salary advancement in your state or local district. Antioch University is a fully accredited institute of higher learning. Credits are issued on a CEU, PDU, clock-hour or quarter-credit basis (in states on a semester hour basis, five quarter credits translate to 3.3 semester credits). This is a guided-independent study course with up to a sixth-month completion time.
About the instructor: Don Dean is the District Coordinator of Science in the Oakland, New Jersey School System, with significant experience in curriculum- and teacher development. He holds a B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics, a B.S. in music, and an M.S. in Educational Technology. Don is also an avid traveler and student of foreign languages and cultures, active in projects in South America studying and promoting microclimates, medicinal plants, sustainable farming and rainforest preservation.