Dr. J. Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor Emeritus, Dept. CTL, OISE, U. Toronto

Welcome to my online resumé. Although I no longer teach courses (like these), I do some university service work (e.g., for FOE; SMT) and supervise a student’s doctoral thesis project. Mostly, though, I focus on my STEPWISE-based research & publication programme – often working with graduate students and teachers using action research to learn about students’ research-informed & negotiated sociopolitical actions to overcome STSE Harms. Some publications from this (and earlier) research are highlighted on this page. Refer also to my ORCID record, my CTL profile and a PDF copy of my most recent full curriculum vitae linked below.


Goals for my research & publication programme have – as evident in my CV – evolved since I began in about 1991. Likely because I had completed primary research for my MSc (1977), my early work (starting with my PhD thesis) studied promotion of students’ SD/OE primary research – a focus that largely deals with ‘Intra-STEM Phenomena,’ as illustrated at left/above. As I learned more about the Nature of Science (NoS), my studies of primary research also came to prioritize Naturalist-Antirealist NoS perspectives. Although I had many ‘successes’ with these foci, there seemed to be an ‘invisible hand’ blocking widespread adoption of SD/OE research. But, in reading books like The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, Real Science & Science in the Private Interest, I became convinced that a virtual capitalist ‘Borg’ was limiting student self-determination via primary research. This led me to shift my research more towards ‘STEM-Society-Environment Relationships’ and, more particularly, promotion of RiNA projects to overcome STSE Harms.


Refereed Publications

Books (all)

  • Bencze, J.L. (in preparation). Swimming against the tide in science teacher education: Growing ecojustice dispositifs. New York: Peter Lang.
  • 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 (recent)

  • Zouda, M., El Halwany, S., & Bencze, L. (in preparation). Science and technology studies informing STEM education: Possibilities and dilemmas. In G.P. Thomas & H. Boon (Eds.), Challenges in science education: Global perspectives for the future (pp. xx-xx). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bencze, L., El Halwany, S., & Zouda, M. (in review). Science students dreaming of future ecojust material-semiotic assemblages: Drawing from critical & altruistic ‘food for thought.’ In J.D. Adams & C. Siry (Eds.), Wondering science: Creativity, imagination and future thinking in science education (pp. xx-xx). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Bencze, J.L. (in press). Dreaming of global ecosocialist futures: Possible contributions from science & technology education. In A. Sharma, M. Schmeichel & B. Wurzburg (Eds.), Progressive neoliberalism and schooling (pp. xx-xx). New York: Routledge.
  • Bencze, J.L. (in press). Politicized socioscientific issues education promoting ecojustice. In Hsu, Y.-S., Tytler, R., & White, P.J. (Eds.), Innovative approaches to socioscientific issues and sustainability education: Linking research to practice (pp. xx-xx). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Bencze, J.L. (in press). To be debated: Teachers should mobilize science students to help replace capitalism. In J. Dillon & M. Watts (Eds.), Debates in science education (2nd ed.) (pp. xx-xx). London: Routledge.

Journal Articles (recent)

  • El Halwany, S., Bencze, L., Hassan, N., Schaffer, K., Milanovic, M. & Zouda, M. (2021). Becoming alive within science education (research): Thinking with life history(ies), bodies and stickiness. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 16(1), 85–107.
  • El Halwany, S., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (OnlineFirst). Stepping into STS literature: Some implications for promoting socioecological justice through science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, . [invited]
  • Bencze, J.L. (2020). Re-visioning ideological assemblages through de-punctualizing and activist science, mathematics & technology education. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education, 20(4), 736–749. [invited]
  • 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.
  • Tsoumparis, D., Bencze, L., Curtis, S., & Zouda, M. (2020). Practical suggestions for promoting science student actions to overcome social and environmental harms. School Science Review, 102(379), 64-70.

Conferences (upcoming)

AERA 2022.

  • Ibrahim, S., Del Gobbo, D., El Halwany, S., Zouda, M., Milanovic, M., Hassan, N., Krstovic, M., & Bencze, L. (accepted). Exploring avenues for social justice and environmental sustainability using the arts in science education.

NARST 2022 (Related Paper Set).

  • Bencze, L., Del Gobbo, D., El Halwany, S., Mohammad, N.H., Milanovic, M., Yeung, J., & Zouda, M. (accepted). Students’ preferred material-semiotic alliances after power-focused application-based learning.
  • El Halwany, S., Hassan, N., Del Gobbo, D., Ibrahim, S., Yeung, J., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (accepted). Teaching with emotions: Supporting critical views on nature of science.
  • Hassan, N., El Halwany, S., Milanovic, M., Schaffer, K., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (accepted). Implementing an action-oriented pedagogical framework and STEM-teacher identity: An autoethnography.
  • Ibrahim, S., Del Gobbo, D., El Halwany, S., Zouda, M., Milanovic, M., Hassan, N., Krstovic, M., & Bencze, L. (accepted). Exploring avenues for social justice and Environmental sustainability using the arts in science education.
  • Zouda, M., Tsoubaris, D., El Halwany, S., Hassan, N., Milanovic, M., Sahibzada, S., & Bencze, L. (accepted). Between the possible, the is and the ought: Constructs of ‘micro-sociotechnical imaginaries’ for alternative futures.

SEEDS 2022 (Symposium).

  • Bencze, L. (accepted). Post-crisis science & technology education: Battling zombie capitalists. A presentation as part of the symposium Not Returning To Normal: Examining and Contesting Power in the COVID-19 Era at the annual conference of the Science Educators for Equity, Diversity and Social Justice, Online, Jan. 28-31, 2022.

Upcoming Conferences of Interest

Recent Refereed Conference Presentations

Invited Academic Talks

  • Bencze, J.L. (2021). Social media: Growing a pro-capitalist ‘Borg.’ A panel presentation & discussion to faculty & students of the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, March 23, 2021, regarding the video documentary, The Social Dilemma. [Presentation]
  • Bencze, L. (2021). Resisting ‘The Borg’: Striving for ecojustice? A keynote presentation at the Curriculum Reform Conference, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon, 29-30Jan & 5Feb, 2021. [Presentation]
  • Bencze, L., Carter, L. (2021). Capitalism, nature of science and science education, a presentation as part of an IHPST-hosted webinar, Towards a Research Agenda in Nature of Science for Social Justice, regarding the book, Nature of science for social justice, April 13, 2021. [Slides]

Non-refereed Publications

Books (recent)

  • Milanovic, M., El Halwany, S., Krstovic, M., Mitchell, K., Padamsi, Z., Qureshi, N., Schaffer, K., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (2019). Science education for civic action: A ‘STEPWISE’ project resource guide for teachers. Toronto: STEPWISE Research and Publication Team. [PDF]
  • Zouda, M., Schaffter, K., Pouliot, C., Milanovic, M., El Halwany, S., Padamsi, Z., Qureshi, N., & Bencze, L. (2019). Ban the dust: A graphic novel about citizen action to eliminate urban dust pollution. Toronto: STEPWISE Research and Publication Team. [Novel; Pedagogy; Video Advert]

Journal Articles (recent)

  • Alsop, S., & Bencze, L. (2020). Editorial: Reimagining science and technology education in the COVID-19 portal. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 11(2), i-vii.
  • Bencze, J.L. (2020). Post-pandemic science & technology education: An opportune and necessary ideological battle. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 11(2), 33-54.
  • Bencze, J.L. (2020). Stepwise progress towards more widespread altruistic uses of science and technology. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 11(1), VI-VIII.
  • Milanovic, M., El Halwany, S., Nurul-Hassan, M., Rahman, S., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (2020). Lured to linger: Engaged researcher/facilitators’ reflections. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 11(1), III-V.


Editorial Board Memberships

  • Cultural Studies of Science Education. This journal’s priorities highly align with my socio-political views. Supported by Springer publishers, they also host the annual CSSE Forum – a small conference featuring longer, small-group, discussions. As a Board member, I also serve as Lead Editor for submitted manuscripts – which involves initial overall review and coordination of expert reviews of each manuscript to which I have been assigned.
  • Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education. This series of books published by Springer also aligns with my political views and is edited by Dana Zeidler – a prominent scholar regarding socioscientific issues education. I am asked to review proposals for academic books for this series.

Journal Guest Editor

  • CSSE 12.4 (2017): Biopolitics & Science Education;
  • CJSMTE 10.3 (2010): Activism through SMT Education;
  • Orbit 31.3 (2000): Science, Math. & Technology (Education) for All.

Journal Co-founder/Editor

Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education

In 2009, Dr. Steve Alsop (York University, Toronto) and I co-founded/edit JASTE – a community-reviewed & open-access journal that focuses on knowledge about STSE Harms and rectifying civic actions. Rather than possibly restricting authors’ creativity through peer review, we hope readers will provide authors with feedback they might use to further develop their scholarship. Our latest issues are: JASTE 11.2, which features academic articles discussing possible – and/or perhaps necessary – influences of the CoViD-19 pandemic on science & technology education; and, JASTE 11.1, advertised through this video, the third in a series of school-based issues featuring student-written RiNA project reports based on STEPWISE pedagogy. Dr. Jesse Bazzul (U Regina) served as co-editor (2014-19), leading some critical issues and helping us convert to using the OJS hosting service. Please consider helping us advertise JASTE issues:



  • PhD, Education (U. Toronto [OISE]), 1992-1995); Thesis: Bencze, J.L. (1995). Towards a more authentic and feasible science curriculum for secondary schools. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
  • BEd, Biology/Chemistry (Queen’s U., Kingston, ON, 1976-77).
  • MSc, Biology (Queen’s U., Kingston, ON, 1974-77); Thesis: Bencze, J.L. (1977). Cytogenetic and fine structural analysis of polytene chromosomes from Drosophila melanogaster. Unpublished MSc Thesis. Kingston, ON: Queen’s University.
  • BSc, Biology (Queen’s U., Kingston, ON, 1970-74).
  • Secondary School Diploma (academic studies), PCVS (1968-70), Peterborough, ON.
  • Secondary School Diploma (technology studies), PCVS (1964-66); ASCVI (1966-68), Peterborough, ON.
  • Elementary School Diploma, St. Peter’s Elementary School (1956-64), Peterborough, ON.

Work Experience

  • Associate Professor Emeritus, Science Education, OISE/UT, since July 1, 2018.
  • Assistant-Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/UT, 1998-2018 (tenure, 2003; major courses).
  • Assistant Professor of Education, College of Education, U. Saskatchewan, 1997-98 (1-year position).
  • Independent Science Consultant, 1995-97.
  • Consultant, Intermediate & Senior Science, York CDSB, Ontario, 1988-92.
  • Science Teacher, Elementary & Secondary Private & Public Schools, Ontario, 1977-88.

Personal Note

After ‘retirement’ on July 1, 2018, from teaching and most university service work, I moved to Kingston, ON. Except for pandemic restrictions, however, I am usually in Toronto for meetings for 1-2 days per week. To meet up, in-person or online, write to me at: