New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Science Education and Civic Education: a Comparison Between Civic Learning Outcomes in Social and Engineering Sciences

Diana Dias, Universidade Europeia - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (Portugal)

Diana Soares, Universidade Europeia - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (Portugal)

Abstract

Enhancing students’ civic education appears as a centrepiece in the Higher Education mission. Beyond technical or discipline-specific skills, students need to learn how to become effective active citizens, developing their beliefs, commitments and capabilities to act as members of a community. A range of learning outcomes represents this broader concept of civic education such as, interpersonal relationships skills; team work abilities; personal and social responsibility; the concern about social, economic and environmental sustainability; ethics and professional regulation; or cultural awareness. Accordingly, this study aims to explore potential differences on civic learning outcomes between social sciences and engineering study programmes, submitted to quality accreditation in Portugal. Using a mixed methodology, these civic learning outcomes were analysed and compared. Semantic and statistical differences were found between both scientific areas. In general, results suggest that engineering programmes reveal a greater prominence of civic learning outcomes in their curricula. Excepting for interpersonal relationship and cultural awareness skills, engineering programmes seems to be particularly committed to civic skills, such as personal and personal and social responsibility; team work; the concern about social, economic and environmental sustainability; and ethics and professional regulation.

Keywords: Civic education; learning outcomes; higher education; social sciences; engineering sciences;

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