Home Lesson Plans Activities Field Trips Standards


Standard 02: INTERDEPENDENCE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY: Students analyze and evaluate the interdependence of science, technology, and society.

Hawaii Standard 02 from Domain 02 is aligned most closely with the National Science Content Standard F, Science in Personal and Social Perspectives, concept Science and Technology in Society. The content standard for 5-8 states:

    "Technology influences society through its products and processes. Technology influences the quality of life and the ways people act and interact. Technology changes are often accompanied by social, political, and economic changes that can be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and to society. Social needs, attitudes, and values influence the direction of technological development."

The National Science Standards guides to content standards for Science and Technology and Science in Personal Social Perspectives provide excellent further clarification for these concepts and pedagogical issues. The links are included on the Standards pages.

Even if the entire National Science Standards are for Science and Technology are not read by each teacher, at a minimum, it is imporatant to understand the fundamental difference between science and technology. At stated in the National Standards:

    "Science and technology are pursued for different purposes. Scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world, and technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology, by its nature, has a more direct effect on society than science because its purpose is to solve human problems, help humans adapt, and fulfill human aspirations. Technological solutions may create new problems. Science, by its nature, answers questions that may or may not directly influence humans. Sometimes scientific advances challenge people's beliefs and practical explanations concerning various aspects of the world."

Lewis Thomas in his introduction to "The Search for Solutions" eloquently states:

    "The transformation of human societ by science is probably only at its beginning, and nobody can guess at how it will all turn out. A the moment, the most obvious and visible effects on out live are those resulting from the technology that derives from science, for better or worse, and much of today's public argument over whether science is good or bad is really about the value of technology, not about science"

Yet, those who would elavate science and disparage technology as science's evil twin are deceiving themselves. The ability to use tools, the earliest forms of technolgy, is the defining human trait. The ability to modify our environment to suit human need is the the cornerstone of our species' success. Humans are technological beings.

We have a responsibility to present Science and Technology in a balanced perspective to students. Students need opportunities to practise making decisions involving assessment of alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits and consideration of who benefits and who suffers, who pays and who gains, and what the risks are and who bears them. Students should understand the appropriateness and value of basic questions-"What can happen?"-"What are the odds?"- and "How do scientista nd engineers know what will happen?"