Critical Scientific Literacy Approach and Critical Theories in the Learning of Science Outside the Classroom

Gonzalo Guerrero-Hernández, Lorena Rojas-Avilez, Corina González-Weil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter presents an overview of the contribution of critical theories to the learning of science outside the classroom, developing and applying concepts from critical scientific literacy. We present an analysis of the previous implementation of critical theories across the literature, mainly from experiences in Latin America and focusing on environmental education and contexts outside the classroom. Then, we discuss three examples of our work, using the theories at different levels and contexts, emphasising teachers’ pedagogical and collaborative approaches. The first example proposes applications of critical theories developing projects with pre-service teachers based on the expansion of forestry monoculture and its impact on the balance of ecosystems and on indigenous communities that inhabit intervened localities. The second one seeks to revise and analyse science teaching experiences outside the classroom of teachers participating in a continuous training program from a critical perspective. The last one considers applying critical theories in a doctoral project, using a map of socio-environmental conflicts in Chile; the project presents a Research-Practice Partnership to tackle an environmental conflict through a pedagogical field trip. The three examples offer insights into how we can promote critical approaches using socio-environmental conflicts and eco-routes beyond disciplinary boundaries, taking advantage of the opportunity offered by scenarios outside the classroom to challenge the complexity of real-world problems. Finally, we suggest how others could apply critical theories as a way of recognising connections between individual subjectivities, socio-scientific issues and the social contexts in which they are embedded.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow People Learn in Informal Science Environments
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783031132919
ISBN (Print)9783031132902
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


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