This paper reflects the theory and practice of societal-oriented science education in the past and present of German science teaching. Starting from a quite unique German justification for more thorough societal-oriented science education and some historical reflections a model for socio-scientific issues-based science teaching will be presented. The model was developed and operated in the last ten years in Germany along many cases of curriculum design and classroom-based research. Along selected cases it will be discussed how the curriculum design and action research triggered innovation process contributes to theory development in the field of socio-scientific issues-based science education.
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