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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Larry Bencze

Larry Bencze
Associate Professor Emeritus

email: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca  
website: http://www.lbencze.ca
website: http://www.stepwiser.ca

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

Research Overview

I facilitate action research based on 'STEPWISE' (http://www.stepwiser.ca; Twitter: @STSE_Actions), a schema for development of lessons and student activities intended to promote educated, researched and negotiated personal and social actions to address harms (e.g., human diseases, privacy invasion & climate change) in relationships among fields of science and technology and societies and environments (STSE). In a new SSHRC-funded project, we study uses in STEPWISE applications of findings from Science & Technology Studies (STS). With so much cancelled or postponed due to the COVID19 crisis, we are currently focusing on publication. If you are interested in being involved, contact me at: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

Ph.D., Education (University of Toronto, 1995)
B.Ed., Biology-Chemistry (Queen's University, 1977)
M.Sc., Biology (Queen's University, 1977)
B.Sc., Biology (Queen's University, 1974)

Teaching Overview

I am retired from course instruction, although I still supervise some doctoral students' thesis writing and defence. My university-based teaching (summarized at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HfJzuDiBvcrziohpS-I-d9NW2ZL0uTJX/view) was greatly co-related with my research (www.stepwiser.ca).

Representative Publications

My online CV can be viewed at: https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/jlbencze/cv/


  • Weinstein, M., Pouliot, C., Martins, I., Levinson, R., Carter, L., & Bencze, L. (in preparation). Science education towards social and ecological justice: Provocations and conversations. Dordrecht: Springer.


  • Bencze, J.L. (ed.) (2017). Science & technology education promoting wellbeing for individuals, societies & environments. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Bencze, J.L., & Alsop, S. (eds.) (2014). Activist science & technology education. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Alsop, S., Bencze, L. & Pedretti, E. (eds.) (2005). Analysing exemplary science teaching: Theoretical lenses and a spectrum of possibilities for practice. Buckingham: Open University Press.

CHAPTERS IN EDITED BOOKS [all chapters in others' edited books were invited] (3 of 49)

  • Bencze, J.L. (in press). A manifesto for eco-socialist worldings through science & technology education. In J. Bazzul, M.F.G. Wallace, M. Higgins & S. Tolbert (Eds.), Science x education x Anthropocene (pp. xx-xx). New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.
  • Bencze, J.L., & Carter, L.C. (2020). Capitalism, nature of science and science education: Exposing and opposing threats to social justice. In H.A. Yacoubian & L. Hansson (Eds.), Nature of science for social justice (pp. 59-78). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Bencze, L., El Halwany, S., & Zouda, M. (2020). Science teacher education promoting critical and active public engagement to address socioscientific problems. In M. Evagorou, J. Alexis Nielsen & J. Dillon (Eds.), Science teacher education for responsible citizenship: Towards a pedagogy for relevance through socio-scientific issues (pp. 63-83). Dordrecht: Springer.


  • Bencze, J.L. (in press). Re-visioning ideological assemblages through de-punctualizing and activist science, mathematics & technology education. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education, . [invited]
  • El Halwany, S., Bencze, L., Hassan, N., Schaffer, K., Milanovic, M. & Zouda, M. (in press).  Becoming alive within science education (research): Thinking with life history(ies), bodies and stickiness. Cultural Studies of Science Education, .
  • Tsoumparis, D., Bencze, L., Curtis, S., & Zouda, M. (in press). Practical suggestions for promoting science student actions to overcome social and environmental harms. School Science Review, .
  • Bencze, L., Pouliot, C., Pedretti, E., Simonneaux, L., Simonneaux, J., & Zeidler, D. (2020). SAQ, SSI and STSE education: Defending and extending ‘science-in-context’. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 15(3), 825–851.
  • Bencze, L. El Halwany, S., Milanovic, M., Qureshi, N., & Zouda, M. (2019). STEM and IBL: Roadblocks to critical and active community engagement through school science. Educação e Fronteiras, 9(25), 48-71. [invited]

Research Grants and Contracts

- This project involves studies of the nature and extent to which claims from Science & Technology Studies (STS) may be effectively used in STEPWISE-informed teaching and learning.
- Funding = $88,446 (SSHRC, 2019-2023)

- This was a study of uses of the STEPWISE teaching and learning framework (www.stepwiser.ca) to promote student-led informed civic engagement.
- Funding = $115,698 (SSHRC, 2010-2016)

- This project used collaborative action research to learn about teachers' efforts to promote realistic science education.
- Funding = $102,434 (SSHRC, 2004-2010)

Honours and Awards

2003 - 2004 OISE/UT Student Teachers' Union Instructor Excellence Award (Most Resourceful Biology Instructor)

Professional Activities

Co-Editor of an Online Community-reviewed Journal:
- JASTE (https://goo.gl/cvO2TA), with Steve Alsop (York U.)
- Latest issue: CoViD-19 and Science & Technology Education (tinyurl.com/yckxxaz4)

Guest Editor of Refereed Journals:
- Carter, L., Weinstein, M., & Bencze, L. (2017). Biopolitics and science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 12(4).
- Alsop, S., & Bencze, J.L. (2010). Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 10(3).

Editorial Board Membership:
- Cultural Studies of Science Education (https://link.springer.com/journal/11422)
- Springer Book Series: Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education (https://www.springer.com/series/6512)

Invited Talks at Universities (3 of 28):
- Bencze, J.L. (2018). Towards critical and active community engagement through school science. A presentation to faculty and students, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 27, 2018.
- Bencze, J.L. (2018). Learning about community action groups & their links to science education: A STEPWISE project. A presentation to educators, students and community group members at the symposium, University teaching partnerships: Working with NGOs and community groups in the context of science education, University College, London, Institute of Education, May 21, 2018.
- Bencze, L. (2018). Socioscientific activism: Ontological, epistemological and axiological considerations. A presentation to faculty and graduate students, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, S. Korea. Jan. 24, 2018.

Keynote Addresses (3 of 10 [+1])):
- Bencze, L. (2018). Challenges to cultural studies in science education. A keynote presentation at the Cultural Studies in Science Education Forum, Atlanta, GA, March 14, 2018.
- Bencze, L. (2018). STEM education for 'WISE' technology design. A keynote presentation at the 2018 GCER-ToSEF International Forum (Theme: Educational Initiatives for the Future Society), Seoul National University, Seoul, S. Korea. Jan. 29, 2018.
- Bencze, J.L. (2018). Critical & activist science education. A keynote presentation, Korean Association for Science Education, Dankook University, Yongin and Cheonan, South Korea, Jan. 25-27, 2018.

Other Information

As an Emeritus Associate Professor, I do not teach courses or participate in many institutional activities. However, I am very busy with my research and publication programme, 'STEPWISE' (www.stepwiser.ca). I now live in Kingston, Ontario, although I typically (in non-CoViD19 times) spend 1-2 days each week at OISE where I often have meetings with graduate students, colleagues and others. I can be contacted at: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca