1st Cycle of Basic Education Teachers and their Engagement in Science and Technology
Keywords:Scientific Culture, teachers, Basic Education, Public Engagement with Science.
In recent decades, research in science education, based on the Science-Technology-Society trinomial, has achieved a remarkable dimension, the result of the view that holds Science and Technology (S&T) as engines for the development of society. It is therefore important to understand the engagement of teachers in the 1st cycle of basic education, as they are one of the cornerstones of future development, in particular through the involvement they may inspire in their students. In this sense, this article seeks to understand the 1st cycle teachers (elementary school teachers (grades 1-4)) in the district of Guarda, Portugal, as social and cultural actors.
The results reveal a group of teachers with moderate interest in S&T issues and a lot of interest in topics involving environmental issues. The prominence of this subject suggests that the teachers have been influenced by educational policies as well as the extent of information acquired through the media on this topic. Although the sample consists of highly experienced teachers, they revealed a degree of engagement far short of what would be desired, indicating interest, almost exclusively, in attending debates and meetings on the environment.
As the teachersâ€™ engagement in S&T is a result of their social and cultural interaction in society, the authors stress the importance of creating a social network to promote the creation of an "identity" which can deal with a world characterized by rapid scientific and technological change, solidifying the scientific knowledge of the teachers involved and optimizing the educational component ofÂ these social actors in the promotion and development of scientific literacy.
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