ERIC Number: ED429817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
A Naturalistic Study of Epistemology: Oceanography Constructed through Oral and Written Discourse.
Kelly, Gregory J.; Chen, Catherine
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the epistemology of a discipline is interactionally accomplished, acknowledged, and appropriated in a university oceanography course. Drawing from sociological and anthropological studies of scientific communities, this study uses an ethnographic perspective to explore how teachers and students came to define particular epistemological perspectives through the everyday practices associated with teaching and learning oceanography. Writing in a scientific genre was foregrounded in the teaching of this university introductory course and demonstrated how, through discourse processes in classrooms about writing in science, knowledge construction reflects aspects of disciplinary knowledge derived from scientific communities. Analysis of the data examined how social mediators between science and education position the epistemology of the discipline of oceanography. Cultural themes woven throughout the course activities emphasized epistemological issues such as uses of evidence, role of expertise, relevance of point of view, and limits to the authority of disciplinary inquiry. Class discussions about writing in science became contexts for students to question cultural norms of science and school science activities. (Contains 61 references and 3 figures.) (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (72nd, Boston, MA, March 28-31, 1999).