Citizenship Education in Nanotechnologies as a Means of Developing Ethical Thinking Among Students


  • Nathalie Panissal Université de Limoges



Socially Acute Questions (SAQ), Citizenship education in nanotechnologies, Ethics of care, Ethical thinking


As pertains to the didactics of SAQs (Socially Acute Questions), we have experimented with educational devices contributing to the development of (i) controversial questions, (ii) engagement abilities and (iii) ethical thinking among learners. The work described in this paper has a praxeological aim. The combination of several theoretical fields related to nanotechnologies (nanoethics, sociology and political science, political philosophy) and their evolution during the past several decades, enables us to point out the lacunae and deficiencies that need to be addressed in order to build a citizenship education around this issue. Care Ethics provides some elements for building practical pedagogical devices capable of contributing to the development of hybrid, cosmopolitan and ethical thinking among—and even the empowerment of—learners. These elements can then be used as a guide for engineering debates and moral questioning on an SAQ related to nanomedicine.


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Author Biography

Nathalie Panissal, Université de Limoges

Nathalie Panissal is full professor at University of Limoges in Education Sciences. Member of FrED (Francophony, Education, Diversity) laboratory, she directs research programs in:

- Education of socio-ethical issues in relation with Nanotechnologies and Technosciences in the didactics of Socially Acute Questions.
- Ethical empowerment of learners by the development of complex thinking according to the ethics of Care.
- Education to citizenship and socialisation by the conception of educational devices with educators targeting complex learnings in a context of curriculum changes.