ERIC Number: ED431619
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Toward an Essential Ethic for Teaching Science in the New Millennium.
Hays, Irene de la Bretonne
The purpose of this study was to identify and explore values and views that might underlie an essential ethic for teaching science in the new millennium. With such an ethic, teachers may be better able to prepare young people to form and fully participate in communities that restore and sustain Earth. Reviewed in the literature for this study were changing philosophies and theories from early indigenous cultures to the present on the nature of nature, the value of nature, and the human relationship with nature. These philosophies and theories were found to influence values that today underlie the work scientists do and the ways young people are educated in science. In the study, two groups of participants--nature writers and scientists--revealed the essence and meaning of their relationship with nature. A two-stage, modified Delphi method was used for collecting data. Stage One comprised the first round of the Delphi and involved content analysis of writings by a select group of U.S. nature writers from the early 1800s to the present. In Stage Two, comprising three rounds of the modified Delphi, perspectives of nature writers were imbedded in questionnaires and presented for response to a select group of scientists connected with research and education at National Laboratories across the country. Finally, results from each participant group were brought together in a recursive process, one with the other, to determine findings. Strong Earth-care values, including receptivity, responsibility, interdependence, respect, cooperation, love, and care were found to be held in common by the nature writers and scientists in this study and could form the foundation for an essential ethic for teaching science. The strongest dissonance between nature writers and scientists was evident in emotional and spiritual elements in stories told of their experiences with nature. Contrary to what might have been expected from scientists based on theories of science and practices of science education represented in the literature, few scientists revealed negative, utilitarian, or dominionistic affiliations with nature. In contrast, no nature writers revealed such affiliations. Contains 210 references. (Author/WRM)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ed.D. Dissertation, Seattle University.