School, Scientific Rationality and Democracy in the Early 21st Century: Weakening or Renewal of a Secular Alliance?

By Catherine Radtka

With the generalization of science teaching, school has become a place of science and society interplay. Securing the recruitment of scientific manpower and transmitting a scientific culture is a double aim that has justified scientific teaching for several decades. In this article, the author studies the recent reformulation of this double aim. To do so, the author focuses on the European discourse on education and scientific teaching in a first part, and, in a second part, studies how educational materials such as textbooks echo this discourse in three different national contexts. This analysis shows that science remains introduced as a favored activity and way of thinking. Despite this common trait, recent changes tend to influence science teaching and various approaches are proposed in the scrutinized countries in order to educate future citizens.JEL Codes: I29


  • scientific education
  • textbook
  • European Union
  • Britain
  • France
  • Poland
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