Reconceptualizing the teaching of controversial issues

C. Oulton, J. Dillon, M. M. Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

230 Citations (Scopus)


Science has a role to play in the resolution of many of the issues deemed controversial in all societies. However, evidence of a lack of public confidence in science and scientists as effective problem-solvers continues to accumulate. This paper speculates that this lack of confidence might in part be due to the way in which science educators present controversial issues. In particular, we argue that current approaches to teaching about controversy do not sufficiently acknowledge the nature of the issues themselves. The paper proposes a set of principles as the basis for a reconceptualization of the teaching of controversial issues and gives an example of how they might be applied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-423
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

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  • Education


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