On 18 November 2019 at 11.00 Mirjam Burget will defence her doctoral thesis „Making sense of responsible research and innovation in science education“.
Professor Margus Pedaste, PhD; University of Tartu
Senior Research Fellow Emanuele Bardone, PhD; Tartu University
Associate Professor Ilkka Johannes Ratinen, PhD; University of Lapland
In recent decades, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has gained a wider importance in the European Union where RRI is developed as a political framework in the governance of science. Although interest has increased in the conceptualization of RRI, the main problem is the lack of theoretical conceptualization as well as an explanation of RRI in practice. The literature indicates that RRI in science education is regarded in connection with the EU research politics, but there is still a deficiency of studies regarding the nature of RRI in education connected with scientific literature and also about integrating the RRI concept into education in a meaningful way. Therefore, the aims of the present research were to determine: (1) the definitions and conceptual dimensions of RRI based on the relevant literature on the topic, (2) how science teachers perceive the emergence of Responsible Research and Innovation in their work, (3) a better understanding of the meaning that the term responsibility can have in different phases of inquiry-based learning, (4) the complementarity of RRI-related philosophies in science education and to consider responsibility as a part of the RRI-related philosophies in science education. As a result of the study, RRI can be described as an effort to govern the process of research and innovation with the goal of democratically including, at the early stages, all stakeholders concerned in anticipating and discerning how research and innovation can or may work for the society as a whole. RRI can be described by the four conceptual dimensions – reflexivity, responsiveness, anticipation and inclusion – and with the two emerging dimensions – sustainability and care. Based on the empirical study of the current research, the RRI dimensions were conceptualized in education in the following categories: sense-making, action-taking, exploration and inclusion. In sum it can be said that RRI in education can be described as a process where teachers include learners meaningfully and where learners are given an opportunity to make sense, take action or explore the scientific knowledge or the technology-related processes. The practical value of the work stems from the contribution to the practice of the school for general education and curriculum development as well as to the politics. Attention should be paid on discerning responsibility in the learning process, a deeper understanding of the previously established approaches in science education (e.g. inquiry-based learning, socio-scientific issues) and development of the necessary training and teaching materials.