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Aswathy Raveendran (Graduated 2018)

The primary objective of my PhD work is to bring in Science-Technology-Society (STS)concerns into the higher secondary biology curriculum. Unlike the traditional science curricula that emphasises teaching of facts and concepts in science, the STS approach seeks to teach science and technology by placing them in the larger social, political and ethical context, seeking to present science as a human endeavour that is value-laden. A part of my work involved critical examination of curriculum documents as well as the higher secondary textbooks with specific focus on the values and ideologies that are implicitly transmitted through the science textbook particularly in the discussion of topics like health, environment and new technologies such as biotechnology (please refer to the publication mentioned below in Indian Journal of Gender Studies where I have discussed some of my analysis which was a feminist critique of reproductive health in the higher secondary biology textbook). Though the science textbook is considered to be a neutral purveyor of facts alone, it can never be written or taught in a value-free manner and there is a need for teachers as well as textbook writers to acknowledge this and reflect on the values that they pass on when they teach science or write textbooks. This is the underlying premise of my work.

The other part of the work involved examining how students (16-19 age group) negotiate socioscientific issues which are controversial issues with scientific as well as social and political dimensions. The issues that I chose for my work were related to controversial medical technologies (organ trading, sex change operations, commercial surrogacy, abortions of disabled fetuses and euthanasia). The student groups involved higher secondary science and non-science students as well.

In conferences:

Raveendran A and Chunawala, S. (2013) Towards an understanding of socioscientific issues as means to achieve critical scientific literacy. In Nagarjuna G., Jamakhandi, A. and Sam, E. (eds.) epiSTEME 5 International Conference to Review Research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Conference Proceedings. India: Cinnamonteal. p.67-73.


Raveendran, A & Chunawala, S. (2014, February). Reproducing values: Examining how the higher secondary biology curriculum discusses reproductive health from critical feminist perspective. Paper presented at the the XIVth National conference in women's studies organized by the the Indian Association of Women Studies in Guwahati.


In Journals:
Raveendran, A. & Chunawala, S. (2015), Values in Science: Making Sense of Biology Doctoral Students’ Critical Examination of a Deterministic Claim in a Media Article. Science Education. doi: 10.1002/sce.21174 (published online)

Raveendran, A & Chunawala, S. (2015). Reproducing values: A feminist critique of reproductive health in the higher secondary biology textbook. Indian Journal of Gender studies, 22:2, 194-218.


Material Developed:


As a part of fieldwork conducted on evaluation of Small Science in two urban schools, I developed a rubric for teachers to understand how students think. This was based on the unit on water in class 4 textbook where students were being introduced to the concepts of evaporation and condensation:

Exploring young minds



Masters in Biotechnology from Cochin University of Science and Technology

Bachelors in Biochemistry from PSG college of Arts and Science, Coimbatore



Research Scholar





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