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ERIC Number: ED214823
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov-9
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Social Studies Looks at Science: A Critical Review of "Science in Social Issues."
Parsons, Jim
A social studies educator responds to a paper by Glen Aikenhead titled "Science in Social Studies." To remind science people that social issues are ultimately human as opposed to ultimately scientific, the author begins the paper with a discussion about the ways humans come to gain knowledge through science, religion, philosophy, and art. If science education is to deal correctly with social issues, it must deal with the full range of how humans come to resolve these issues. The author then addresses four issues raised by Aikenhead. First he disagrees with Aikenhead's portrayal of science as formal and his statement that the mission of science educators is to produce professional scientists. For a student to use science as a tool to help resolve social issues, science must become more available to the student. Courses must not be just for the training of professional scientists. Secondly, the author disagrees with Aikenhead's portrayal of decision making--i.e., that decision making in society is done mostly by those in key power positions. Every person is a decision maker, including scientists and regular citizens. The third issue addressed is Aikenhead's statement that because the human environment is changing, humans are changing. Many social studies people disagree with this view. Science and society change, but the fundamental social issues remain essentially the same. The fourth issue addressed is the idea of the resolution of social issues. Scientific knowledge alone is not sufficient for solving social problems. Knowledge from several sources must be utilized. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented as part of a Symposium on Science and Social Issues (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, November 9, 1981).