ERIC Number: EJ924561
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
Portraying Science as Humanism--A Historical Case Study of Cultural Boundary Work from the Dawn of the "Atomic Age"
Lynning, Kristine Hays
Science & Education, v16 n3-5 p479-510 Mar 2007
In the late 1950s, when a new curriculum for the Danish upper secondary school was under construction, the reform debates on science were strongly concerned with the scarcity of technologically and scientifically educated labour, and thus relations between science, technology and welfare were stressed. Simultaneously however, the relationship between science and humanism was likewise emphasised and discussed. It is this latter issue that is the subject of analysis here. I argue that describing science as a form of humanism served a number of different purposes both within and without a narrow school context. It was far from clear what the practical consequences of this rhetorical figure was to be, although some attempts were made within the new curriculum plan to break down the boundaries between the sciences and the humanities. However, picturing science as humanism also served legitimising functions both with regards to the new science curriculum and with regards to a general political program of progress and welfare through support of science and education. Thus, the curriculum debates on science education were part of a much broader cultural and political debate in which the image of science was negotiated and transformed. Such curriculum debates can, I argue, be understood as cultural boundary work in Thomas Gieryn's sense.
Descriptors: Humanism, Humanities, Science Curriculum, Case Studies, Science Education, Science Instruction, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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