Courageous Pedagogy

Enacting Critical Science Education

Andrew Gilbert, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

A volume in the series: Critical Constructions: Studies on Education and Society. Editor(s): Brad J. Porfilio, California State University, Stanislaus. Marc Pruyn, Monash University. Derek R. Ford, DePauw University.

Published 2013

There are only a few studies that investigate the actual small-scale classroom processes and approaches that allow for students to participate in “doing” critical science and none that compare CSE to traditional classroom contexts. In a critical science classroom student’ thoughts, beliefs, and questions serve as the starting point for scientific investigation where an underlying goal is for students to students to utilize this scientific knowledge to empower their own lives. One must ask, “What would this process look like? What would happen to the students?” Pruyn (1999) argued that the difficult nature of this type of research has limited the number of studies that investigate small-scale critical classroom approaches. These classroom interactions and approaches will provide valuable insights into the diffi cult processes that must exist for students to begin to develop transformative notions of the world.

Introduction. 1. The Politics of Science and the Science Education Standards. 2. Contextual Issues Surrounding Science Education. 3. Mr. Smith’s Pedagogy—Schooling as Compliance. 4. Mr. Hill’s Pedagogy—Enacting Critical Science Education. 5. Pedagogical choices shaped by beliefs about students—Mr. Smith. 6. Pedagogical choices shaped by beliefs about students—Mr. Hill. 7. Classroom discourse and its associated impact on student identity. 8. Resistance is not futile. 9. Using Transformative Moments to Construct Critical Science Stances. 10. Concluding Thoughts. Postscript. References.

"Grounded in classroom practice and constructed around powerful theory, by truly merging critical politics with the teaching of science, Andrew Gilbert's Courageous Pedagogy is a breakthrough in critical science education." Wayne Au University of Washington-Bothell

"Gilbert's text pushes me to rethink my own priorities in science education and why we do this work in the first place. Courageous Pedagogy forces the reader to deeply reconsider science education as traditional knowledge acquisition, and instead see the possibility of individual and societal transformations. This work is not only important, it's inspiring." Adam Johnston Weber State University