Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 21:5 (October 2001), pp. 376-393. Copyright © 2001 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


As science educators, we must view the changing nature of society brought on by technology and the global nature of society as an impetus to reexamine the nature of science instruction. We have been bestowed with the responsibility to educate students on a variety of topics that less than two decades ago did not exist. Many of these social issues are controversial in nature and are directly linked to the local, regional, national, and global communities in which we exist. However, including these social issues in the extant curriculum of science has, at best, been limited. This is true even though the National Science Education Standards specifically indicate that science and technology, as well as science in personal and social perspectives, are integral to science education. The following study examines a group of science teachers’ beliefs about the implementation of controversial social/technological issues in the extant science curriculum. Indications are that teachers believe that social issues are important to study, yet lack the support from their communities to teach social issues.