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Dr. Hagop Yacoubian on Future Lebanese Citizens, Democratic Decision Making, and the Role of School Science

On Thursday, October 25 2012, Hagop A. Yacoubian, Ph.D, who has recently joined the Education Department of Haigazian University, delivered a lecture entitled “Future Lebanese Citizens, Democratic Decision Making, and the Role of School Science” for the first Haigazian Cultural Hour of this academic year in the University’s auditorium.

Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, welcomed the audience as she looked back at the 15 years of continuous cultural hours presented here at Haigazian. As an academic institution concerned with “problem detecting and solving,” Haigazian University has invited Dr. Yacoubian to offer his solution to engage the new generation in civic responsibility.
As a professional in the field of education, Dr. Yacoubian presented his views on the importance of school science in preparing future Lebanese citizens to participate in democratic decision-making on science-based social issues. Citing the recent ban on smoking in public places as an example, Dr. Yacoubian arguedfor the need of a curriculum that engages students in critical thinking in order to make educated decisions on such social issues.
Dr. Yacoubian then highlighted the characteristics of the envisioned curriculum, which will create “a space for future citizens to explore critically some philosophical questions about science and practice applying the byproducts of their critical thinking in making decisions on science-based social issues”
Dr. Yacoubian wrapped up his presentation with a brief discussion of the educational challenges that need to be met. He augmented his position with feedback that he had collected from experienced teachers, concluding that this ideal curriculum has the potential of being translated into an operational one.

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