Responsible research and innovation in science education: insights from evaluating the impact of using digital media and arts-based methods on RRI values

Isabel Ruiz-Mallén*, Maria Heras, Karla Berrens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The European Commission policy approach of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is gaining momentum in European research planning and development as a strategy to align scientific and technological progress with socially desirable and acceptable ends. One of the RRI agendas is science education, aiming to foster future generations’ acquisition of skills and values needed to engage in society responsibly. To this end, it is argued that RRI-based science education can benefit from more interdisciplinary methods such as those based on arts and digital technologies. However, the evidence existing on the impact of science education activities using digital media and arts-based methods on RRI values remains underexplored. This article comparatively reviews previous evidence on the evaluation of these activities, from primary to higher education, to examine whether and how RRI-related learning outcomes are evaluated and how these activities impact on students’ learning. Forty academic publications were selected and its content analysed according to five RRI values: creative and critical thinking, engagement, inclusiveness, gender equality and integration of ethical issues. When evaluating the impact of digital and arts-based methods in science education activities, creative and critical thinking, engagement and partly inclusiveness are the RRI values mainly addressed. In contrast, gender equality and ethics integration are neglected. Digital-based methods seem to be more focused on students’ questioning and inquiry skills, whereas those using arts often examine imagination, curiosity and autonomy. Differences in the evaluation focus between studies on digital media and those on arts partly explain differences in their impact on RRI values, but also result in non-documented outcomes and undermine their potential. Further developments in interdisciplinary approaches to science education following the RRI policy agenda should reinforce the design of the activities as well as procedural aspects of the evaluation research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-284
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Creative thinking
  • critical thinking
  • engagement
  • science learning

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