ERIC Number: EJ829956
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Reforming Science Education: Part I. The Search for a "Philosophy" of Science Education
Schulz, Roland M.
Science & Education, v18 n3-4 p1-25 Apr 2009
The call for reforms in science education has been ongoing for a century, with new movements and approaches continuously reshaping the identity and values of the discipline. The HPS movement has an equally long history and taken part in the debates defining its purpose and revising curriculum. Its limited success, however, is due not only to competition with alternative visions and paradigms (e.g. STS, multi-culturalism, constructivism, traditionalism) which deadlock implementation, and which have led to conflicting meanings of scientific literacy, but the inability to rise above the debate. At issue is a fundamental problem plaguing science education at the school level, one it shares with education in general. It is my contention that it requires a guiding "metatheory" of education that can appropriately distance itself from the dual dependencies of metatheories in psychology and the demands of socialization--especially as articulated in most common conceptions of scientific literacy tied to citizenship. I offer as a suggestion Egan's cultural-linguistic theory as a metatheory to help resolve the impasse. I hope to make reformers familiar with his important ideas in general and more specifically, to show how they can complement HPS rationales and reinforce the work of those researchers who have emphasized the value of narrative in learning science. This will be elaborated in Part II of a supplemental paper to the present one. As a prerequisite to presenting Egan's metatheory I first raise the issue of the need for a conceptual shift back to philosophy of education within the discipline, and thereto, on developing and demarcating true educational theories (essentially neglected since Hirst). In the same vein it is suggested a new research field should be opened with the express purpose of developing a discipline-specific "philosophy of science education" (largely neglected since Dewey) which could in addition serve to reinforce science education's growing sense of academic autonomy and independence from socio-economic demands. (For part 2, see EJ829957.
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Educational Philosophy, Educational Theories, Educational Change, Scientific Literacy, Science Education, Linguistic Theory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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