I. To know various type of STS approaches.
II. To determine the importance of STS approaching.
III. To understand the interactions and connections between STS elements.
Science, technology and society related to each other in different ways, as science and technology developed altogether, they give impacts on society in terms of cultural or moral values. For examples, science and technology contribute to the inventions of nuclear weapons which lead to wars and thus, affect the moral values of humanity. However, in other positive side, the inventions could help some country to become strong and enable to defend themselves from enemy. All of these showed that science, technology and society shared strong connections, as well as their approaches. The negatives and positives affects arrived from the personal judgment that influenced either by their own personal purpose or by society purpose. As long as science and technology exist, the society issues will be always debated among the human all over the world.
Before understanding the importance of science, technology and society approaches, it is necessary to know that science and technology are closely associated with human lives. They are closely linked aspects of society and the studies and developments in both of science and technology are essential for the overall progress of society. For student, this approach will provide real world connection for student between the classroom and society. The process should gives the student practices in identifying potential problems, collecting data that regarding to the problems, finding alternative solutions, and considering the consequences based on particular decisions.
Science, technology and society approaches is nothing similar like textbook driven science courses and disciplined centered. It is important for student to know not only about the content and process of science, but also the impact of science and society to one another. Student expertise not just at solving the exercises, but also can asking questions, developing hypothesis, drawing conclusions based on their interpreted results. By mastering all of those characteristics, student generally can be considered as experts in the Science, Technology, and Society approaches.
2.4 STS approaches
2.4.1 Historical approaches
In historical approaches of STS, the science had become alive and colorful. There are various historical approaches like daring field studies, serendipitous discoveries, creative collaborations, cutthroat competitions, political pressure and long lasting feuds. Science was much more personal and socially embedded than teacher had ever realized. Teacher had discovered a world that would intrigue their students.
Students researched the lives of the scientist like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking or the scientist from the hundreds ago like Ptolemy and Aristotle. By doing the research, student might know what they had invented for science and technology. This might encourage them to be like the scientist and create the new historical day in the science and technology. Teacher also can asked them to do drama or role-play about the glorious scientist in class which make them learn how importance the scientist contributions to the Science and Technology.
Apart from that, historical approaches can be seen through the worst historical events that had occurred due to the science and technology inventions. For example, the explosion of Chernobyl nuclear plant had in 1980 century had bring big effects in science and technology where it had caused serious issues debating the nuclear plant using for energy sources. Apart from that, recent events like cloning had causes arguments in ethics and society where cloning claimed to be an immoral actions. Teacher can asked the students to search about the historical events in legal sources, like certain approved websites and books and give their own opinion about it and related the science and technology with society.
Having students studying and remembering all of these historic events can help them approaches the STS efficiently since they can feel it is alive and thus, develop their own opinion on the STS and related it with their daily life as well. The historical approaches can be efficient as long as the facts about the history are true and not being bombarded with myth or lies. In order to do this approach smoothly, teacher must be the first person that understanding the scientific history completely before guiding the students to uses the same approach.
This is relevant since students will regard to teachers for some information that they unable to obtain from other sources and thus, when it comes to historical facts, any information from teacher will be accept as true facts by the students. This will give to errors and misunderstanding in learning the approach and in addition, history cannot be told with lies or otherwise, it would not be valuable anymore and become fake or myth.
2.4.2 Philosophy approach
One of the important components of STS education is the inclusions of nature of science perspectives. a nature of science emphasis provides scope and breadth for exploring science in its wider social- cultural contexts and asked questions related to what science is, how knowledge is generated, how science works, how scientist operate as a social group and how society itself both directs and reacts to scientific endeavors.
Philosophy approaches must includes all the scientific branches like Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. A philosopher must be an expertise in all of these subjects and for that reasons, students at least mastering the basics of all branches in order to go through the Philosophy approach. Philosophy is more complicated than historical approaches since it about the ‘philosopher words’ which what they believe from the science and their study is to discover the truth, not to gain attention from the public or popularity. Philosophy also includes moral values like hardworking, self confidence, never give up easily in what they looking for in their study.
True philosopher will always defend the truth and never twisted the facts in their discovery. Galileo is a philosopher who defends his words to the church of Europe, arguing about the false facts of sun encircling the earth. He said that earth the one that encircling the sun and claimed that he discovered it trough his works on astronomy. His stubbornness had brought him to death sentences and yet, he never changes his mind. Later his knowledge is generated and accepted by people all over the world, defeating lies created by people who believed myth. From this incident, philosopher approach is relevant as long as he students know what the purpose of learning science is and what is the association the discovery of the truth fact with the life of human being. They also need to learn about other philosophers’ history to make them more understandable.
Teacher can guide the students through this approach by asking them about the scientific philosophy, like philosophy of a doctor when he want to treat his patient where the philosophy will become his words on his service and thus, he will never broke the promise or he will lost his credibility as a good doctor, when giving them the philosophy, they have to work in group and elaborate well about the moral values obtained from the scientific philosophy. From this activities, the student can observe how the simple philosophy can affect the society in terms of culture, ethics and moral values of human life and in addition, what are the positive values that lies inside a philosopher who had generated worldwide knowledge in science and technology which never been proved wrong and relevant to any centuries of life.
2.4.3 Issues based approach
Another possible way achieving the challenging goals proffered by STS educations advocates is through the explorations of socio scientific issues (Pedretti et al). in issues –based learning, social issues, such as waste management, reproductive technologies (cloning) and so on, become central organizers for science curriculum and instructions.
Through issues and events, students investigate the interface between science and society, as they research multiple perspectives; engage in decision making, and possibly by actions. Student will also learn the impact, either positive or negative impact given by the certain issues on the society. Since student are provided with many information resources like computer, newspaper, books and etc, looking for scientific issues would never be a problem to them
Most issues derived from science and technology. Pollutions, crimes, moral behavior problems and even the political issues also derived from development of science and technology. For this reason, the issues-based approach is the most reliable approach of Science, Technology and Society approach.
By giving a simple issue like pollutions, student can connect the dots between science and society where they will discover how science and technology contribute to the pollutions and how this issues rise concern among the society. If students stated that science and technology is the main reason that caused the pollutions, what are the alternate ways of solving the problems? Student had to look to the solutions with their own ideas and others as well. They might as well searching the information from internet or do some research about it in group
Any scientific issues sure do have its solutions. With that solutions, it can solve the issues in a proper ways which significant to prevent further contradictions and apart from that, it will allow students to understand more about Science, technology and society by concerning with recent and past issues, especially in our beloved country.
2.5 The importance of approaching STS
STS is stress on individual involvement personally in science. Students should be the active participants in scientific experiences with good values like honest, hardworking and sociable with others in the scientific experiences. They should always put their interested in sciences and make it as part of them.
STS essentials on providing our generations learn the skills of identifying and solving problems. Problems at solving the scientific errors and other scientific technique can be prevented by STS (Yager et al., 1992). STS also can be seen in context of human experience, and this would channel student to think about science as a social activity.
STS science is about making sense out of life today and for the future.STS science teaching is student oriented as contrasted with the scientist orientation of tradition science teaching. Students strive to understand their everyday experiences.
Students can establish ownership of their learning by asking the questions. This makes STS approach differ with textbook science since the method that more to memorizing, rather than understanding
2.6 interactions between STS method
Science, technology and society existence depend on each other, forming a balance system. Without any one of them, there will be no interactions formed among them and thus, the system will be disrupted.
Technology is the applications of science and technological practices that takes place within, and influenced by social contexts and various scientific principles. For example genetic engineering of GMF (genetically modified food) is the technology that applies those science practice which influence by the moral and religion issues of changing the origin creations of god by mixing their genetics together for profitable purpose.
Societal aspirations and development affect the goals of science and the products of technology. In turn, science and technology have impacts on social, economic and environmental development for sustainability.
In the STS approach, knowledge in science and technology is to be learned with the applications of the principles of science and technology and their impact on society. (Ministry Of Education Malaysia,2006)
In addition, STS instructions aim to help students makes sense out of their everyday experiences, and then support students’ natural tendency to integrate their personal understanding of their social, technological and natural environment.
In conclusion, there are three ways of STS approaches which are historical approach, philosophical approach and issue-based approach.
Technology is the applications of science and technological practices that takes place within, and influenced by social contexts and various scientific principles.
Societal aspirations and development affect the goals of science and the products of technology. In turn, science and technology have impacts on social, economic and environmental development for sustainability
To ensure the implements of science and technology in social life is going smooth as planned and penetrate each level of youth in society; several actions should be taken to strengthen the process and infrastructure in formal institution.
Teachers are required to relate and integrate student’s mind from what students learn in school with their experiences in daily life. The importance of STS approach in education system is student enable to establish their ownership of their knowledge and providing skills to identify and solve the problems.
1. STS is about individual involvement in science by personal, making sense out of life today and for the future and stress on human experience context.
2. There are three types of STS approach that are Historical approach, philosophy approach and issued-based approaches.
3. Historical approach is stressing on activities such as writing, planning and performances.
4. Philosophy approach stress on exploring science.
5. Issued based approach stress on activities such as internets and events.