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The Science Teacher




The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the absence of needed resources for teachers to engage students in learning about infectious disease as both a socioscientific issue and a scientific phenomenon (Kafai et al. 2022). With infectious disease largely absent from the NGSS, teachers had to creatively link lessons that contextualized and examined key aspects of infectious disease education during the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw in real time the impacts of popular news, social media, and public mood on broader socioscientific behaviors such as vaccination, masking, and social distancing. We watched as people’s understanding of the nature of science (Lederman 2013) and its tentativeness played into behavior decisions to abide by mask mandates or social distancing requirements. Much of the fabric of the social contract that binds society was strained as folks grappled with a worldwide scientific event that dictated many facets of their daily life.



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