The SENCER Ideals
The SENCER Ideals illustrate the principles and philosophies that guide SENCER's approach to educational practice:
- SENCER robustly connects science and civic engagement by teaching “through” complex, contested, capacious, current, and unresolved public issues “to” basic science.
- SENCER invites students to put scientific knowledge and the scientific method to immediate use on matters of immediate interest to students.
- SENCER helps reveal the limits of science by identifying the elements of public issues where science does not offer a clear resolution.
- SENCER shows the power of science by identifying the dimensions of a public issue that can be better understood with certain mathematical and scientific ways of knowing.
- SENCER conceives the intellectual project as practical and engaged from the start, as opposed to science education models that view the mind as a kind of “storage shed” where abstract knowledge may be secreted for vague potential uses.
- SENCER seeks to extract from the immediate issues the larger, common lessons about scientific processes and methods.
- SENCER locates the responsibilities (the burdens and the pleasures) of discovery as the work of the student.
- SENCER, by focusing on contested issues, encourages student engagement with “multidisciplinary trouble” and with civic questions that require attention now. By doing so, SENCER hopes to help students overcome both unfounded fears and unquestioning awe of science.
Bringing the SENCER Ideals to Life
The SENCER Models demonstrate the possible ways to construct courses and programs that embody the SENCER Ideals.