ERIC Number: ED355143
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Epistemology and the Education of Social Science Teachers.
Shaver, James P.
Epistemology traditionally has been defined as the division of philosophy that investigates the nature and origin of knowledge. More specifically, epistemology usually is said to be concerned with either the development of common bodies of knowledge or the establishment of personal knowledge. In recent years, epistemology also has come to be used to encompass how people learn coupled with the term "constructivism," it signifys learning as an active process that occurs as each person constructs his or her own portrayal of reality. This paper is concerned with the implications epistemology has for the education of social science teachers. There is a general lack of thought among educators about how what teachers bring to their teaching--for example, their frames of reference, including their beliefs about subject matter and how children learn--affects the purpose behind their teaching. Epistemology as knowledge-building and epistemology as learning are both relevant to the education of social science teachers. Research on the elements of epistemology is examined and ways in which the principles described are important to the knowledge base for social science teachers are illustrated. It is important to help social science teachers to be thoughtful about the epistemological elements in the frames of reference they bring to their teacher education programs, about the varying epistemological orientations within and across the social sciences, and about their assumptions as to how students best learn. (Contains 56 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Theories, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Epistemology, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Secondary School Teachers, Social Sciences, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Background, Teacher Education
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Subject-Specific Teaching Methods and Teacher Education (Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July 6, 1992).