Inviting the petrochemical industry to the STEM classroom: messages about industry–society–environment in webinars

Maria Andrée, Lena Hansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article reports from a study of what messages concerning industry–society–environment are communicated to secondary students when they participate in webinars with representatives from the petrochemical industry. The webinars are conceptualised as part of an arena for governing science education and the messages as companion meanings. Empirically, the study is set in a context of online webinars on the topic of careers in the petrochemical industry. The webinars target students across the European Union (EU). The analysis reveals two main themes of companion meanings concerning what relations between industry–society–environment are communicated: a) the petrochemical industry as safeguarding modern life, and b) the petrochemical industry as essential for the solving of environmental problems. The companion meanings conveyed are not at all neutral but instead a means to influence the attitudes and choices of young people. The themes are discussed in relation to the overall democracy and citizenship aims of education. That the webinars claim to address the topic of careers and that they are part of an initiative sanctioned by a governmental authority (the EU) might contribute to teachers and students lowering their guard in relation to potentially biased messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023-Jan-19

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)

Keywords

  • education policy
  • educational governing
  • environment
  • European Union
  • industry
  • STEM education

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