Science education for sustainable livelihoods: community development through society-responsive science curriculum reforms
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With poverty deepening, environmental degradation worsening, severe effects of climate change and natural hazards and disasters, this literature-based paper explores, raises questions and stimulates debate on society-responsiveness of science education curricular for community development and sustainable livelihoods of citizens. Scientific literacy is a cornerstone of science education reform and twenty first century citizenry. The ability to make decisions about socio-scientific issues is a characteristic of scientific literacy. Science education research, unless it emerges from praxis and is central about a political commitment to the struggle for liberation and in defence of human rights, will fall short of helping make sense of the intended goal of responding to community needs and development. As a society, we believe that schools should prepare masses of people to exercise the rights and responsibility of citizenship. Social responsibility is an established general education goal, one that science education must no longer avoid (Kyle, 2006). Science education must not be limited to the laboratory but, to some critical extent, be an active part of our social milieu. Science education ought to be linked to issues of sustainable development. Current science education reform movements have, either intentionally or unintentionally, not fully conceptualised the task at hand.