Political rationalities in science teaching materials provided by external actors

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Political rationalities in science teaching materials provided by external actors

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Publication Conference Meeting abstract
Title Political rationalities in science teaching materials provided by external actors
Author Andrée, Maria ; Hansson, Lena ; Ideland, Malin
Date 2017
English abstract
Many Western societies have a tendency to talk about how schools are failing in the science subjects. School science is often discussed as outdated, not interesting enough for young people and non-effective for the students’ learning. This discourse opens up for external actors such as industrial actors and NGOs to engage in the teaching of science. One example of this is when these actors provide teaching materials. Thus, ‘statework’, in terms of educational governance, becomes distributed within public and private networks. Examples analysed in this chapter are web-based calculators from the environmental organisation, WWF, and the energy company, E.ON; both are used for calculating ecological footprints. The aim is to analyse what political rationalities are invited into classrooms through these ecological footprint calculators and by what means. Our analysis targets how a specific kind of citizen is ‘made up’ through a ‘centre of calculations’, and what political ideology influences the making of a sustainable citizen. This is achieved through looking into how the desirable citizen is governed through the technologies of accounting, debt and ethics. Through the accuracy of numbers and the bookkeeping of debt, the calculators produce a specific ethical approach. As a result, they suggest that becoming a responsible person is achieved through individual consumption choices rather than taking the issues to the political level. This distributed statework opens up for neoliberal economic and ideological interests to enter the classroom. We claim that it is of the utmost importance that teachers and educational policy-makers be made aware of the governing elements behind the teaching materials provided by external actors.
Conference
ESERA the 12th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. (21-25 of August 2017 : Dublin, Ireland)
Language eng (iso)
Subject science education
environmental education
Environmental and sustainability education
Education for sustainable development
Commercial actors in education
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/23933 Permalink to this page
Link http://www.esera2017.org... (external link to related web page)
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA (n/a for student publ.)
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