Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education

Journal Information
EISSN : 2560-8908
Current Publisher: University of Toronto Libraries - UOTL (10.33137)
Total articles ≅ 44

Latest articles in this journal

Steve Alsop,
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34537

Steve Alsop, Darren Hoeg
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 60-74; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34536

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, citizens and social institutions have been called into action. Questions of the future of school and an appropriate educational response to the pandemic have been widely discussed and debated. As scholars of science education, subjects particularly relevant to educating about the virus and its transmission, we discuss the roles and responsibilities of science education during pandemic. The format of this paper is a dialogue. We discuss theoretical positions related to science education and the pandemic, inequalities and injustices, recent anti-Black racism protests, and concrete pedagogical responses. As our discussion progressed, we increasingly recognize teachers and students as crucial agents in developing community-grounded, critical place-based, educational responses, recognising and addressing injustices related to differential global and local realities experienced during the pandemic.
Ajay Sharma
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 7-15; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34532

COVID-19 is a global assemblage that presents a wicked problem for scientists and policymakers alike. Wicked problems that defy easy characterization and solutions are expected to proliferate in the Capitalocene. In this essay, I argue that traditional science cannot be expected to help us understand and resolve wicked problems like COVID-19. Rather, we need phronetic science that is transdisciplinary, ethically aware and oriented towards inculcating practical wisdom in its practitioners. Further, if we wish to see phronetic science being used in tackling wicked problems, science educators can contribute by teaching phronetic science in our schools.
Justin Dillon, Lucy Avraamidou
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 1-6; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34531

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched almost every corner of the planet and continues to impact on lives, livelihoods, economies and cultures. It is both a human and a global phenomenon. Making sense of what is happening requires an understanding of a number of scientific ideas including viruses, transmission, incubation and vaccination. These are life and death issues and yet the public and their political leaders often display a deliberate mistrust of the science and scientists. How might the science education community respond? We pose a series of questions designed to provoke a strong response to COVID-19 from our community and our colleagues: “How well has the science curriculum prepared the world’s public for COVID-19?”; “How much science education should be online from now on?”; “Are we learning from the current situation?”; “Is science education research producing knowledge that protects society from catastrophic events?”; “How should our working practices change to make science education more resilient, more useful and more transparent?”; “What are the ethics and politics of social distancing and how do they affect science education?”; “What pedagogies might we need to turn to in the future?”; and, “What role should business and industry play in funding science education research and development?” In our attempt to stimulate the development of a vision for science education in the post-pandemic era, we offer initial thoughts about moving forward. What we offer is a departure point, an invitation for the community to engage with pressing issues in science education. The main question we pose is the following: What can be done, and what can be done differently? We envision that this paper will provide some guidance to the readers to re-think the complex systems and socio-political contexts within which people come to learn and practice science and to conceptualize these processes through a social justice lens. We argue that a social justice informed approach towards shaping a vision for science education in the post-pandemic era is of paramount importance and that failure to do so will only serve as a way of perpetuating existing inequalities.
Lyn Carter
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 16-32; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34533

This paper argues that the coterminous trends of post-liberalism’s shifting global power relations and right wing populism (RWP) have been apparent in the persistent attacks on the World Health Organisation, controversies over the SARS-CoV-2 name, and other forms of disinformation during the current pandemic. Scientific expertise and technocratic knowledge have been diminished in a cacophony of political blaming and posturing, exposing once again the entangled nature of science and politics. It is critical for science education to consider this perspective given its central role in the production of future science and medical professionals able to navigate highly charged and contested political spaces.
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 33-54; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34534

Much of the world is experiencing a crisis in which many ‘instructional packets’ (SARS-CoV-2 viruses) have commandeered ‘machinery’ of living beings to propagate themselves — regardless of surrounding harms their self-interested purposes may cause. Although they have, indeed, caused massive global disruption, crises linked to hegemonic actors are not uncommon. Capitalists, like viruses, conscript various living and nonliving entities to serve them and, in their persistent — and, generally, highly-successful — pursuit of profit, are said to be responsible for numerous social injustices and much environmental devastation, such as climate disruption and nuclear war (Ripple et al., 2020). Accordingly, like viral pandemics, many suggest that capitalism is a ‘pandemic’ and also must be eliminated — and, some would suggest, replaced with eco-socialist worlds. Capitalism seems, however, to be extremely resilient, often able to survive different crises and, sometimes, capable of emerging even stronger. In this vein, Naomi Klein (2007) suggests that capitalists and others have routinely exploited natural and anthropogenic disasters — using societal destabilization to further implement pro-capitalist policies, often at expense of well-being of many people (e.g., gig workers), societies (e.g., under surveillance) and environments (e.g., climate change). The CoViD-19 pandemic, however, may be a special kind of crisis — perhaps opening doors to more non-capitalist futures. Although enabling, for instance, more for-profit surveillance, it also may have disaggregated capitalist networks to the point of severe weakening and, in doing so, enlightened many people about pre-crisis neoliberal and populist infrastructures that may have contributed to this and other crises. Such conscientization may, in turn, have emboldened many to work for better futures. Given roles of science and technology (S&T) in capitalist empowerment, a natural place for such transformation may be science and technology education. In this paper, a framework for S&T education showing promise in this regard is described and defended. Nevertheless, those wishing societal transformation towards more eco-socialist futures need to engage multiple and diverse living, non-living and symbolic entities in ways that may generate networks supportive of such transformations.
Emma McKay
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 55-59; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i2.34535

As the pandemic descended, even educators who resisted e-learning were forced to move their classes online. Undoubtedly, access to advanced communications technology has made all of this more bearable. Yet there are problems with technology. Some have more access than others, which further entrenches inequality in education. Surveillance provides only more power to the powerful. Luddism has for a long time offered a way to resist the unequal powers of technology through resisting the use of specifically those technologies which further inequality. Here, I offer a framework for Luddism that can be applied in the long term by educators and anyone else who seeks to build power in community.
Naiha Ali
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 42-44; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i1.34262

In this article, a secondary school science student describes her development and implementation of ecologically-sustainable athletics shoes - which she designed and printed with a 3D printer. These shoes represent a research-informed and negotiated action that the student perceived in relationships among fields of science & technology and societies & environments (STSE).
Kitana LaLonde
Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education, Volume 11, pp 14-19; doi:10.33137/jaste.v11i1.34253

Before modern day toothpaste people tried several different things to clean their teeth such as using eggshells, ash, ground oyster shells and salt. When an American dentist Peabody added soap to his toothpaste things started to change, but did they change for the better? Modern toothpaste includes all kinds of chemicals from natural ingredients to synthetically made ingredients. These ingredients are added to help with oral health. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be! However, some of the ingredients may do some harm to our well-being and to our environment. For this social action project, I discuss some effects of toothpaste ingredients on personal health as well as the environment. I also conducted an experiment to test teeth whitening claims and I checked to see if there are controversial microbeads in some toothpaste brands. My proposed action is to inform people of what is in toothpaste so they can make an informed decision and I suggest healthier alternatives such as homemade toothpastes with healthier ingredients.
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