Social Studies, Science, and Civics: Teacher Education and Citizen Science in the 21st Century


  • Christine Tippett University of Ottawa
  • Lorna R. McLean University of Ottawa/Université d'Ottawa
  • Jennifer Bergen University of Saskatchewan
  • Jamilee Baroud University of Ottawa



Citizen science, research in which members of the public actively contribute scientific data, has recently evolved as a means to support scientific inquiry in the classroom, particularly in fields related to ecology and environmental science. Our research focuses on a collaborative project with teacher candidates, a science education professor, and a social studies education professor at a Canadian university. Teacher candidates were engaged in the classroom and beyond as they explored topics related to civics education and evidence-based decision making. Our findings demonstrate the potential effectiveness of a citizen science lens for science, social studies, and generalist teachers.

Key Words: citizen science, citizenship/civics education, science education, social studies education, teacher education

La science citoyenne, c'est-à-dire la recherche dans laquelle les membres du public contribuent activement aux données scientifiques, a récemment évolué comme un moyen de soutenir la recherche scientifique en classe, en particulier dans les domaines liés à l'écologie et aux sciences de l'environnement. Notre recherche porte sur un projet de collaboration avec de futurs enseignants, un professeur d'enseignement des sciences et un professeur d'enseignement des sciences sociales dans une université canadienne. Les candidats à l'enseignement se sont engagés dans la salle de classe et au-delà en explorant des sujets liés à l'éducation civique et à la prise de décision fondée sur des preuves. Nos résultats démontrent l'efficacité potentielle d'une optique de science citoyenne pour les professeurs de sciences, d'études sociales et les enseignants généralistes.

Mots clés : science citoyenne; éducation à la citoyenneté/civique; enseignement des sciences; enseignement des études sociales; formation des enseignants

Author Biographies

Christine Tippett, University of Ottawa

Christine D. Tippett is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa who focuses on science education. She was an engineer before she obtained her teaching degree, which influences her ways of thinking about science education. She is currently involved with two SSHRC funded research projects–one examining opportunities for STEM in early childhood education and another exploring science teacher educators’ conceptions of inclusive practices.

Lorna R. McLean, University of Ottawa/Université d'Ottawa

Lorna R. McLean is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. Her primary area of teaching is in social studies methods courses and graduate courses in history. Her research interests include teacher education and global citizenship, pedagogy, and curriculum.

Jennifer Bergen, University of Saskatchewan

Jenn K. Bergen teaches social studies methods courses in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. They completed their PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. Their SSHRC funded doctoral research examined teacher candidates' understandings of social justice, civic engagement, and anti-racism at two universities in Canada, and their current research interests include mapping the intersections of global citizenship education and anti-racist education, with a focus on teacher education programs.

Jamilee Baroud, University of Ottawa

Jamilee Baroud works as Part-time Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education. Her research is committed to the importance of educational equity and critical digital literacy practices in teaching and teacher education and its potential to enrich curricular resources. At the University of Ottawa, she teaches a course for MEd students on curriculum, culture and technology. Jamilee holds a PhD in Education from the University of Ottawa.