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ERIC Number: EJ986049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 79
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Examining the Sources for Our Understandings about Science: Enduring Conflations and Critical Issues in Research on Nature of Science in Science Education
Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad
International Journal of Science Education, v34 n3 p353-374 2012
This position paper addresses some enduring, as well as emerging issues, associated with the crucial question of benchmarking understandings about nature of science (NOS) for precollege science education. The question of benchmarking NOS understandings is revisited in light of the often cited, continuing debates among historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science, which are invoked to undermine the current widely accepted, domain-general, consensus-based, aspects approach to NOS. The paper explicates the underlying assumptions of, and argues for, this consensus approach. However, the paper calls for extending the current framework and advances a developmental perspective that allows for incorporating controversial NOS issues into this framework. The paper also examines recent calls to altogether abandon the domain-general approach to NOS research and development in science education in favor of a domain-specific approach. The paper argues that, contrary to what its advocates assume, a domain-specific approach is susceptible to the same criticisms often invoked against a domain-general approach. Instead, the paper argues for complementarity and reciprocity between the two approaches, and explicates how the latter can be achieved. Finally, the paper critiques current calls to privilege accounts of context-specific, day-to-day scientific practice and scientists' accounts of their enterprise as sources for deriving understandings about NOS in lieu of scholarship in history, philosophy, and sociology of science (HPSS). The paper argues that, while important, these can only supplement rather than replace HPSS scholarship as a major source for deriving understandings about NOS. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A