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ERIC Number: EJ789688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
The Nature of Science and Perceptual Frameworks: Emphasizing a More Balanced Approach to Science Instruction
Michaels, Erica; Bell, Randy L.
Science Teacher, v70 n8 p36-39 Nov 2003
In today's climate of content standards and high-stakes testing, science teachers are under more pressure than ever to focus on the "ready-made" knowledge of science content. Yet, science educators have long advocated a more balanced approach to science instruction, including emphasis on the processes by which scientific knowledge is produced, as well as the characteristics of this knowledge. Unfortunately, the values and assumptions that go hand-in-hand with the production of scientific knowledge are seldom addressed in the classroom. Failing to address this "hidden" nature of science can result in serious misconceptions on the part of students regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the knowledge that science produces. In this article, the authors call on educators to address the tentative and sometimes subjective nature of science in the classroom to help students make sense of socio-scientific issues they will encounter. By showing that even careful scientists' observations and inferences are affected by cultural and social influences, teachers can help students understand that different viewpoints and controversy are to be expected, especially in the frontier realms of science. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A