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ERIC Number: EJ870654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Leon Cooper's Perspective on Teaching Science: An Interview Study
Niaz, Mansoor; Klassen, Stephen; McMillan, Barbara; Metz, Don
Science & Education, v19 n1 p39-54 Jan 2010
The authors of this paper portray the perspective of Professor Leon Cooper, a theoretical physicist, Nobel laureate, active researcher, and physics textbook author, on teaching science and on the nature of science (NOS). The views presented emerged from an interview prepared by the authors and responded to in writing by Professor Cooper. Based on the gathered data and the subsequent interpretation of it, the authors identified several educational implications and drew the following conclusions: (a) science should be taught within an historical perspective; (b) textbook authors generally have an empiricist epistemology which makes their presentation of science difficult to understand; (c) an historical perspective inevitably involves comparing, contrasting, and scrutinizing different historical accounts of the same events; (d) varying interpretations of observations do not undermine the objective nature of science; (e) new ideas in physics comprise an imposed vision of the world, and these ideas are then slowly accepted by the scientific community; (f) the current view in any science is almost always a mixture of data, hypotheses, theoretical ideas, and conjectures; (g) since experiments are difficult to perform and understand, scientists rely on their presuppositions to guide the integration of data, theory, and conjectures; (h) inconsistencies in the construction of theories can facilitate new theoretical ideas; and (i) case studies based on various experiments show that scientists use intuition which is guided by facts, conjectures, and speculations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A