Promoting Societal-Oriented Communication and Decision Making Skills by Learning about Advertising in Science Education

  • Nadja Belova
  • Ingo Eilks
Keywords: Science education, Science-technology-society, Socio-scientific issues, Communication skills, Critical media literacy, Advertising


In our everyday lives we are surrounded by advertising in its various forms. Thus in the school context it is not surprising that the issue of advertising is addressed by different subjects, with the main foci being advertising-specific language, images and illustrations, use of stereotypes, strategies of persuasion etc. But advertising also contains factual information, being explicit or implicit, to make a campaign more credible and underline the effectiveness of a certain product. Dealing with the use of factual information in advertising critically is important for the consumer. For many products this information is derived from science and technology. Understanding the science in and behind advertising is necessary to become a critical consumer. Learning about the use of science in advertising also allows promoting societal-oriented communication and decision making skills in the science classroom. Unfortunately, only a few examples on the use of advertising in the science classroom exist. This paper provides a justification for the use of advertising in science education. Examples from the classroom developed in the framework of the PROFILES-project are provided by way of illustration.


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