Position Papers

Position Paper: Teaching Controversial Topics Issues in Science Education

An important goal of science education in Ontario is to ensure our students are sufficiently scientifically literate to thrive in our rapidly-changing science-based world. A scientifically literate citizen has the knowledge, skills and habits of mind required to think critically and make informed decisions and opinions. As stated by The Critical Thinking Consortium, “Teachers and 21st century curricula recognize critical thinking as one of the most important educational goals” (2015). Furthermore, the scientifically literate student has the skills required to critically assess all perspectives of controversial issues that may arise during classroom discussions.


Support for In-School Science Fairs

At the October, 200 6 meeting of the STAO/APSO Board of Directors, a new policy was approved that will see money flow to members to support their in-school science fairs.

Position Paper: The Nature of Science

A primary goal of Ontario’s grades 1-8 Science and Technology and grades 9-12 science curricula is to develop scientifically and technologically literate individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind required to participate in a science and technology based world. The Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario/Association des Professeurs de Sciences de l’Ontario (STAO/APSO) and the Science Coordinators’ and Consultants’ Association of Ontario (SCCAO) support and promote this goal.


Position Paper: Statement Regarding Class Size

It is widely recognized that Science is a process and an activity fully as much as it is an organized body of knowledge and that, therefore, it cannot be learned in any deep and meaningful way by reading and discussion alone. The Ontario Ministry of Education and Training reiterates the need for all science courses to stress the importance of both process and content in its recently published.

Policy Regarding Minimum Safety Requirements For Demonstrations At Conferences and Workshops

Safety must be foremost in the minds of every presenter at STAO/APSO sponsored events. Every person who does demonstrations should be knowledgeable about the safe handling and disposal of all chemicals and the safe use of all demonstration equipment. Demonstrators should be aware of any hazards.

Position Paper: Statement Regarding Laboratory Safety

The techniques of Science teaching have changed from lectures and demonstrations to those involving a significant amount of “hands on” activities. This is reflected in the new curriculum which even mandates that certain experiments be carried out. As a result of these changes students may be exposed to even more risk.

Position Paper: Literacy Through Science and Technology (K-8) and Science (9-12)

Literacy skills are critical to student success in school. Yet, literacy is not achieved through literature alone. Being able to read carefully, think critically, and communicate clearly in the content areas requires skills and experiences unique to those content areas.


Position Paper: Hand Hygiene
Infectious diseases are commonly encountered in school-age children, and schools provide an excellent environment for transmission of infectious agents between students and between students and teachers. In addition to illness (and rarely death), infectious diseases are an important cause of student and teacher absenteeism, and schools can be foci of infection for the general community.