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Handbook of Research on Science Education by Michael Talbot-Smith

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CHAPTER 25

Scientific Literacy/Science Literacy

Douglas A. Roberts

University of Calgary

The title of this chapter deliberately includes two terms—scientific literacy and science literacy, abbreviated together as SL. The literature on SL has mushroomed in the past two decades. The concept has come to be used more and more extensively, in many countries, to express what should constitute the science education of all students— to the point where one author claims (perhaps overenthusiastically) that SL now enjoys “worldwide cachet” (McEneaney, 2003). At the same time, it is well known in the science education community that no consensus exists about the definition of SL.

In fact, there is a veritable deluge of definitions for SL. The term is ...

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