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ERIC Number: EJ1082170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Enhancing Teachers' Awareness about Relations between Science and Religion
Bagdonas, Alexandre; Silva, Cibelle Celestino
Science & Education, v24 n9 p1173-1199 Nov 2015
Educators advocate that science education can help the development of more responsible worldviews when students learn not only scientific concepts, but also about science, or "nature of science". Cosmology can help the formation of worldviews because this topic is embedded in socio-cultural and religious issues. Indeed, during the Cold War period, the cosmological controversy between Big Bang and Steady State theory was tied up with political and religious arguments. The present paper discusses a didactic sequence developed for and applied in a pre-service science teacher-training course on history of science. After studying the historical case, pre-service science teachers discussed how to deal with possible conflicts between scientific views and students' personal worldviews related to religion. The course focused on the study of primary and secondary sources about cosmology and religion written by cosmologists such as Georges Lemaître, Fred Hoyle and the Pope Pius XII. We used didactic strategies such as short seminars given by groups of pre-service teachers, videos, computer simulations, role-play, debates and preparation of written essays. Along the course, most pre-service teachers emphasized differences between science and religion and pointed out that they do not feel prepared to conduct classroom discussions about this topic. Discussing the relations between science and religion using the history of cosmology turned into an effective way to teach not only science concepts but also to stimulate reflections about nature of science. This topic may contribute to increasing students' critical stance on controversial issues, without the need to explicitly defend certain positions, or disapprove students' cultural traditions. Moreover, pre-service teachers practiced didactic strategies to deal with this kind of unusual content.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A