SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURE IN SCIENCE
Teaching and Learning in the Science department at Oxted offers a wide variety of SMSC opportunities.
Sometimes science and spiritual ideas do cause conflict but in a modern society it is important to understand why these conflicts arise so we can respect the views of others and move forward.
It is also seen more often that science is able to stand alongside the spiritual beliefs of many. This is looked at often from a neutral stand point within science lessons.
Experiencing awe and wonder:
- The use of particle accelerators in Physics
- The impact of waves (Tsunamis and Earthquakes) in Physics
- Evolution in Biology
- The Big Bang Theory in Physics
- The development of the periodic table in Chemistry
- The miracle of birth in human Biology
Exploring the values and beliefs of others:
- The use of stem cells in reproductive research and the cure for inherited diseases
- The morality of blood transfusions for some religious groups
- Genetically modified crops
- The impact of pollution on our planet
- The anti-evolution movement (creationism)
Understanding human feelings and emotions:
- The impact of drug misuse
- The impact of alcohol on individuals, families and society
- Human behaviour and psychology
Using imagination and creativity in learning:
- Students develop speaking skills
- Presentation skills
- Creative learning tasks
- Using descriptive writing to elicit emotion and feelings
Our understanding of Science has allowed us to develop technology we could not have imagined 50 years ago.
Now however, we must start deciding if we should we do all the scientific activities we are able to or morally should we decide not to. This can be as simple as should we test medicines for humans that could save lives on animals causing them cruelty? It could be as complex as should we allow somatic or germ line cell therapy. Moral development is a vital part of any scientist’s development. Students will need to develop a good understanding of it to firstly pass exams which always comprise of ethical questions but more importantly to become a good rounded scientist.
Investigating moral values and ethical issues:
- Human impact upon our planet and environment
- Should we colonise Mars?
- The ethics of human organ transplantation
- The debate on the use of alternative energy forms
- The safety of nuclear fuels and reactors
Recognising right from wrong and applying it:
- The use of biotechnology
- Farming – are we dependent on monocultures
- Animal rights
Understanding the consequences of their actions:
- Staff role model the behaviour expected from their students
- The legal aspects of drug abuse
- The growing impact of rising obesity levels in Western Society
- The use of chemical based fertilisers on land – eutrophication
Science is changing our society.
The life expectancy is getting longer, people are driving more efficient cars, more and more people are putting solar panels on their rooftops. Our society has become dependent on scientific developments which we could not have foreseen 50 years ago but also our lives are likely to change significantly in the future because of our reckless damaging activities to the environment as a human society. Students must consider their impact on the world around them and start to look at what we can do to help the next generation have a habitable planet.
Developing personal qualities and social skills:
- The use of mobile phones and smart technology
- Limestone quarrying
- Listening to the viewpoints of different scientific groups and politicians
- Developing the ability to take a full and active part in lessons
Participating cooperatively and resolving conflict:
- The nuclear debate pro and cons
- Fossil fuels v biofuels
- Should we colonise Mars?
Understanding how communities and societies function:
- Limestone quarrying
- Laws relating to drink driving
- The law in UK relating to euthanasia compared to European laws
- How science is portrayed in the media
Scientific development comes from all across the world, from people of all backgrounds and cultures.
Some of science’s most important discoveries have come from other parts of the world and it’s important for students to understand this as many believe that progress comes largely from the UK or America. It is also important to understand how the different cultures around the world can have different impacts on the planet and what impact more economically developed countries have on poorer areas. This will also be vital into the future as we need to monitor the impact of quickly developing cultures around the world on our environment.
Exploring, understanding and respecting diversity:
- Understanding genetic variation
- Plant and animal biodiversity
- Classification and ecology
Participating in and responding to cultural activities
- Celebrating Space
- Star formation
- Big Bang Theory
- Changing ideas about the universe
- Transplantation tourism
- Understanding and appreciating personal influences
Celebrating the role scientists have played in our society. For example the influence of:
- Isaac Newton
- Charles Darwin
- Gregor Mendel
- Dmitri Mendeleev
- Galileo Galilei
- Caroline Herschel
- Claudius Ptolemy
- Nicolaus Copernicus
- Marie Curie
- Johannes Kepler
- Lise Meitner
- Robert Boyle
- Mary Anning
- William Herschel
- Rosalind Franklin
- Barbara McClintock