Science Education and Civil Engagement: The Sencer Approach

This book focuses on incorporating SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) ideals into science curricula. SENCER embraces the notion that science education should provide students with a strong scientific background as well as the foundation to think critically about global issues. With this foundation, students would be better prepared to engage in civic processes. Various chapters discuss: 1) the importance and relevance of SENCER; 2) strategies for initiating and implementing SENCER courses and programs of study; 3) existing model SENCER courses; and 4) using SALG (Student Assessment of Learning Gains) as an assessment tool. The most significant feature of this book is its focus on improving science education at all levels through the connection of real world problems to concepts in science. By relating topics that are interesting to students (such as global warming, HIV, etc.) to the underlying science (greenhouse gases, how viruses work), students become more interested in learning the science. Not only does this book discuss the basic ideals linking science education to civic engagement, but it also provides examples of how to incorporate civic engagement into science courses and how to evaluate student learning.