The ‘community of inquiry’ as formulated by C. S. Peirce is grounded in the notion of communities of discipline-based inquiry engaged in the construction of knowledge. The phrase ‘transforming the classroom into a community of inquiry’ is commonly understood as a pedagogical activity with a philosophical focus to guide classroom discussion. But it has a broader application. Integral to the method of the community of inquiry is the ability of the classroom teacher to actively engage in the theories and practices (...) of discipline-based communities of inquiry so as to become informed by the norms of the disciplines, not only to aspire to competence within the disciplines, but also to develop habits of self-correction for reconstructing those same norms when faced with novel problems and solutions, including those in the classroom. This has implications for scienceeducation and the role of educational philosophy in developing students' ability to think scientifically. But it also has broader implications for thinking critically within all key learning areas. Here we concentrate on scienceeducation. We present the parallels between philosophical inquiry and scientific inquiry that need to be realised to promote and engage with scientific inquiry in the classroom. We also discuss the conflicts between philosophical inquiry and the way inquiry science in the classroom is portrayed in the education literature. Based on philosophical and historical perceptions of science as inquiry, a practical approach to implementation of scientific inquiry in the science classroom is presented. (shrink)
Science teaching always engages a philosophy of science. This article introduces a modern philosophy of science and indicates its implications for scienceeducation. The hermeneutic philosophy of science is the tradition of Kant, Heidegger, and Heelan. Essential to this tradition are two concepts of truth, truth as correspondence and truth as disclosure. It is these concepts that enable access to science in and of itself. Modern science forces aspects of reality to reveal (...) themselves to human beings in events of disclosure. The achievement of each event of disclosure requires the precise manipulation of equipment, which is an activity that depends on truth as correspondence. The implications of the hermeneutic philosophy of science for scienceeducation are profound. The article refers to Newton?s early work on optics to explore what the theory implies for teaching. Modern science?as the event of truth?is a relationship between an individual student, equipment, and reality. Science teachers provide for their students? access to truth and they may show how their discipline holds a special relationship to reality. If the aim of science teaching is to enable students to disclose reality, the science curriculum will challenge some of the current practices of schooling. If teachers base science teaching upon the hermeneutic philosophy of science, science will assert itself as the intellectual discipline that derives from nature, and not from the inclinations of human beings. Science teachers teach nature?s own science. (shrink)
This article responds to Schulz's criticisms of an earlier paper published in Educational Philosophy and Theory. The purpose in this paper is to clarify and extend some of my earlier arguments, to indicate what is unfortunate (i.e. what is lost) from a non-charitable, modernist reading of Lyotardian postmodernism (despite its weaknesses), and to suggest what new directions are emerging in scienceeducation from efforts to move beyond an either/or dichotomy of foundationalism and relativism.
Genes are often described by biologists using metaphors derived from computa- tional science: they are thought of as carriers of information, as being the equivalent of ‘‘blueprints’’ for the construction of organisms. Likewise, cells are often characterized as ‘‘factories’’ and organisms themselves become analogous to machines. Accordingly, when the human genome project was initially announced, the promise was that we would soon know how a human being is made, just as we know how to make airplanes and buildings. Impor- (...) tantly, modern proponents of Intelligent Design, the latest version of creationism, have exploited biologists’ use of the language of information and blueprints to make their spurious case, based on pseudoscientific concepts such as ‘‘irreducible complexity’’ and on flawed analogies between living cells and mechanical factories. However, the living organ- ism = machine analogy was criticized already by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. In line with Hume’s criticism, over the past several years a more nuanced and accurate understanding of what genes are and how they operate has emerged, ironically in part from the work of computational scientists who take biology, and in particular developmental biology, more seriously than some biologists seem to do. In this article we connect Hume’s original criticism of the living organism = machine analogy with the modern ID movement, and illustrate how the use of misleading and outdated metaphors in science can play into the hands of pseudoscientists. Thus, we argue that dropping the blueprint and similar metaphors will improve both the science of biology and its understanding by the general public. (shrink)
This second research paper on scienceeducation in Māori-medium school contexts complements an earlier article published in this journal (Stewart, 2005). Science and scienceeducation are related domains in society and in state schooling in which there have always been particularly large discrepancies in participation and achievement by Māori. In 1995 a Kaupapa Māori analysis of this situation challenged New Zealand scienceeducation academics to deal with ‘the Māori crisis’ within science (...) class='Hi'>education. Recent NCEA results suggest Pūtaiao (Māori-medium Science) education, for which a national curriculum statement was published in 1996, has so far increased, rather than decreased, the level of inequity for Māori students in scienceeducation. What specific issues impact on this lack of success, which contrasts with the overall success of Kura Kaupapa Māori, and how might policy frameworks and operational systems of Pūtaiao need to change, if better achievement in scienceeducation for Māori-medium students is the goal? A pathway towards further research and development in this area is suggested. (shrink)
Hasok Chang (Science & Education 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of scienceeducation. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and philosophy of (...) the life sciences (HPLS). The project focuses on the study and use of descriptions, observations, experiments, and recording techniques used by early microscopists to classify various species of water flea. The first published illustrations and descriptions of the water flea were included in the Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam’s, Historia Insectorum Generalis (1669) (Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens. t’Utrrecht, Meinardus van Dreunen, ordinaris Drucker van d’Academie). After studying these, we first used the descriptions, techniques, and nomenclature recovered to observe, record, and classify the specimens collected from our university ponds. We then used updated recording techniques and image-based keys to observe and identify the specimens. The implementation of these newer techniques was guided in part by the observations and records that resulted from our use of the recovered historical methods of investigation. The series of HPLS labs constructed as part of this interdisciplinary project provided a space for students to consider and wrestle with the many philosophical issues that arise in the process of identifying an unknown organism and offered unique learning opportunities that engaged students’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. (shrink)
This paper reviews 30 years of progress in U.S. cognitive science research related to education and training, as seen from the perspective of a research manager who was personally involved in many of these developments.
Starting from a suggestion of Stephen Toulmin and through an interpretation of the criticism to which Neurath, one of the founders of the Vienna Circle, submits Descartes’ views on science, the paper attempts to outline a pattern of modernity opposed to the Cartesian one, that has been obtaining over the last four centuries. In particular, it is argued that a new alliance has to be established between science and education, overcoming Descartes’ banishment against education. In a (...) Neurathian perspective education is a key-moment of the scientific enterprise without which science itself is in danger of going astray and no scientific outlook is promoted in the society at large. Such an anti-Cartesian attitude is a leitmotiv of the whole Neurath’s production and characterizes his fundamental approach to the sense of modernity. For this reasons, despite all its shortcomings, Neurath’s proposal represents a very promising option for a new agenda of the modernity away from Descartes’ spell. By elaborating on Neurath’s (and Dewey’s) insights, the paper puts forward the idea that philosophy of science (such as it was originated by neopositivism in its Reichenbachian version) should give way to an educational philosophy of science which could allow us “to bring the genuine modern into existence”. (shrink)
For centuries, religion and philosophy have been the primary basis for efforts to guide humans to be more ethical. However, training in ethics and religion and imparting positive values and morality tests such as those emanating from the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule have not been enough to protect humankind from its bad behaviors. To improve ethics education educators must better understand aspects of human nature such as those that lead to “self-deception” and “personal bias.” Through rationalizations, faulty (...) reasoning and hidden bias, individuals trick themselves into believing there is little wrong with their own unethical behavior. The application of science to human nature offers the possibility of improving ethics education through better self-knowledge. The author recommends a new paradigm for ethics education in contemporary modern society. This includes the creation of a new field called “applied evolutionary neuro-ethics” which integrates science and social sciences to improve ethics education. The paradigm can merge traditional thinking about ethics from religious and philosophical perspectives with new ideas from applied evolutionary neuro-ethics. (shrink)
This study develops a Science–Technology–Society (STS)-based science ethics education program for high school students majoring in or planning to major in science and engineering. Our education program includes the fields of philosophy, history, sociology and ethics of science and technology, and other STS-related theories. We expected our STS-based science ethics education program to promote students’ epistemological beliefs and moral judgment development. These psychological constructs are needed to properly solve complicated moral and social (...) dilemmas in the fields of science and engineering. We applied this program to a group of Korean high school science students gifted in science and engineering. To measure the effects of this program, we used an essay-based qualitative measurement. The results indicate that there was significant development in both epistemological beliefs and moral judgment. In closing, we briefly discuss the need to develop epistemological beliefs and moral judgment using an STS-based science ethics education program. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the interaction between science policies (and particularly in the area of scientific research) and higher education policies in Gulf and Mediterranean Arab countries. Our analysis reveals a discrepancy between the two sub-regions with respect to integration in the global market, cooperation in scientific research and international mobility of students. The paper discusses the implications of the analysis of reform policies and higher education restructuring.
Significant claims about scienceeducation form an integral part of Thomas Kuhn's philosophy. Since the late 1950s, when Kuhn started wrestling with the ideas of ‘normal research’ and ‘convergent thought’, the nature of scienceeducation has played an important role in his argument. Hence, the nature of scienceeducation is an essential aspect of the phase-model of scientific development developed in his famous The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, just as his later work on categories (...) and conceptual structures takes its starting point in the transmission rather than the creation of concepts and categories. (shrink)
Eger's contribution towards a reapprochment of Hermeneutics, Science and ScienceEducation is very welcome. His focus on the problem of misconceptions is relevant. All the same in our opinion some not minor points need a clarification. We will try to argue that: a) Hermeneutics cannot be reduced to a semantical interpretation of science texts; its phenomenological aspects have to be taken in account. b) Science has an unavoidable historical dimension; original papers and advanced textbooks are (...) the real depositaries of scientific research. Standard textbooks are a caricature not worth it of a hermeneutical analysis. c) A parallelism can be traced between two dicothomies: the lifeworld of hermeneutics and the scienceworld of epistemology on one side and the extraordinary and the normal science on the other. d) For an overcoming of the misconceptions' problem we propose that the previous dicothomies be bridged through a hermeneutical phenomenological approach to scienceeducation that stresses the alternative, historical interpretations of natural phenomena. (shrink)
When physicist Alan Sokal recently submitted an article to the postmodernist journal Social Text, the periodical's editors were happy to publish it--for here was a respected scientist offering support for the journal's view that science is a subjective, socially constructed discipline. But as Sokal himself soon revealed in Lingua Franca magazine, the essay was a spectacular hoax--filled with scientific gibberish anyone with a basic knowledge of physics should have caught--and the academic world suddenly awoke to the vast gap that (...) has opened between the scientific community and their mould-be critics. But the truth is that not only postmodern critics but Americans in general have a weak grasp on scientific principles and facts. In Connected Knowledge, physicist Alan Cromer offers a way to bridge the chasm, with a lively, lucid account of scientific thinking and a provocative new agenda for American education. Science, Cromer argues, is anything but common sense: It requires a particular habit of mind that does not come naturally. For example, something as simple as buoyancy can only be explained through Archimedes' principle--that a body in a fluid is subject to an upward force equal to the weight of fluid it displaces--yet few scientists could arrive at this ancient concept by trial and error. School children, however, are often given a ball and a tank of water, and asked to explain buoyancy any way they can. Today's de emphasis on teaching pupils necessary facts and principles, he argues, "far from empowering them, makes them slaves of their own subjective opinions." This movement in education, known as Constructivism, has close ties to postmodern critics (such as the editors of Social Text) who question the objectivity of science, and with it the existence of an objective reality. Cromer offers a ringing defense of the knowability of the world, both as an objective reality and as a finite landscape of discovery. The advance of scientific knowledge, he argues, is not unlike the mapping of the continents; at this point, we have found them all. He shows how the advent of quantum mechanics, rather than making knowledge less certain, actually offers a more precise understanding of the behavior of atoms and electrons. Turning from philosophy to education, he argues that instead of allowing students to flounder, however creatively, schools should follow a progressive curriculum that returns theoretical knowledge to the classroom. Connected Knowledge, however, goes much farther. As a discipline that insists upon connecting theory with measurable reality, physical science offers a new direction for reforming the social sciences. Cromer also shows how some of the hottest issues in public policy--including the debates over special education and group variations in I.Q., can be resolved through clear, hard headed thinking. For example, he argues for use of the G.E.D. as a national educational standard, with a new "politics of intelligence" to guide the distribution of school resources. Always forthright and articulate, Alan Cromer offers a startling new vision for integrating science, philosophy, and education. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the relevance of the view of cognitive existentialism to a multi-gendered picture of scienceeducation. I am opposing both the search for a particular feminist standpoint epistemology and the reduction of philosophy of science to cultural studies of scientific practices as championed by supporters of postmodern political feminism. In drawing on the theory of gender plurality and the conception of dynamic objectivity, the paper suggests a way of treating the nexus between the (...) construction of gender within the interrelatedness of scientific practices and the constitution of particular objects of inquiry. At stake is the notion of characteristic hermeneutic situation which proves to be helpful in designing a multi-gendered pedagogy as well. (shrink)
The relationship between teaching and argumentation is becoming a crucial issue in the field of education and, in particular, scienceeducation. Teaching has been analyzed as a dialogue aimed at persuading the interlocutors, introducing a conceptual change that needs to be grounded on the audience’s background knowledge. This paper addresses this issue from a perspective of argumentation studies. Our claim is that argumentation schemes, namely abstract patterns of argument, can be an instrument for reconstructing the tacit premises (...) in students’ argumentative reasoning and retrieving the background beliefs that are the basis of their arguments. On this perspective, the process of premise reconstruction is followed by a heuristic reasoning process aimed at discovering the students’ previous intuitions that can explain the premises and concepts that are left unexpressed in their arguments. The theoretical insights advanced in this paper are illustrated through selected examples taken from activities concerning predictive claims on scientific issues. (shrink)
Before 1950, history of science did not exist as an independent academic branch, but was instead pursued by practitioners across various humanities and scientific disciplines. After professionalization, traces of its prehistory as a cross-disciplinary area of interest bound to an interdisciplinary, educational philosophy have remained. This essay outlines the development of history of science as an interdisciplinary academic field, and argues that it constitutes an obvious choice for inclusion in an interdisciplinary academic program, provided faculty and administrators learn (...) how best to manage its advantages and pitfalls. (shrink)
Creationists who object to evolution in the science curriculum of public schools often cite Jonathan Well’s book Icons of Evolution in their support (Wells 2000). In the third chapter of his book Wells claims that neither paleontological nor molecular evidence supports the thesis that the history of life is an evolutionary process of descent from preexisting ancestors. We argue that Wells inappropriately relies upon ambiguities inherent in the term ‘Darwinian’ and the phrase ‘Darwin’s theory’. Furthermore, he does not accurately (...) distinguish between the overwhelming evidence that supports the thesis of common descent and controversies that pertain to causal mechanisms such as natural selection. We also argue that Wells’ attempts to undermine the evidence in support of common descent are flawed and his characterization of the relevant data is misleading. In particular, his assessment of the ‘Cambrian explosion’ does not do justice to the fossil record. Nor do his selective references to debate about molecular and paleontological phylogenies constitute a case against common descent. We conclude that the fossil and molecular evidence is more than sufficient to warrant science educators to present common descent as a well-established scientific fact. We also argue that diagrams depicting the ‘tree of life’ can be pedagogically useful as simplified representations of the history of life. (shrink)
Abstract Scienceeducation and moral education are mutually relevant. An education in science provides the factual information necessary to apply and revise ethical principles. In addition, scienceeducation aims to achieve certain propensities, e.g. impartiality, that are identical to some of the goals of moral education. Moral education, in turn, gives potential scientists the necessary principles and propensities to make certain decisions in the context of discovery, in the acceptance of hypotheses (...) and in the conduct of inquiry. Scienceeducation and moral education can be combined in various ways although some recent theories of moral education, e.g. the values clarification approach, and Matthew Lipman's philosophy for children approach, have neglected the potential of scienceeducation for moral education. (shrink)
I aim to recover some of the original cultural significance that was attached to the realism-instrumentalism debate (RID) when it was hotly contested by professional scientists in the decades before World War I. Focusing on the highly visible Mach-Planck exchange of 1908-13, I show that arguments about the nature of scientific progress were used to justify alternative visions of scienceeducation. Among the many issues revealed in the exchange are realist worries that instrumentalism would subserve science entirely (...) to human interests, as well as instrumentalist worries that realism could become the basis of a science-based religion. I conclude by addressing some issues relating to RID that are now occluded because of Planck's triumph over Mach. (shrink)
There is no question that the work of John Dewey has been invaluable with regard to theories of education. What has too often been neglected, however, is Dewey's work on the philosophy of science as it pertains specifically to scienceeducation.1 Although educators might well concede that children should be encouraged to be "philosophical" within the arts or humanities, most neglect or fail to heed Dewey's insights concerning the child as philosopher-scientist within the science classroom. (...) Dewey recognized that children were too often taught "science" while not learning "the scientific way of treating the familiar material of ordinary experience" (MW 9: 228). The view of science as a nonphilosophical, highly .. (shrink)
Science educators and those who investigate science learning have tended, for good reason, to focus their attention on students' conceptual development, Such a focus is, however, too narrow to provide full and proper understanding of the complexities of original science learning. Recently developmental cognitive psychologists have called on the work of postpositivistic philosophers of science, especially Thomas Kuhn, to bolster their research into conceptual development in science acquisition. What these psychologists have not recognized is that (...) Kuhn's position is actually a derivative of Wittgenstein's methodological nominalism, a viewpoint far more favorable to behaviorism than cognitive psychology. After drawing out some of the consequences of this fact for the developmental cognitive psychologist program for studying science learning, we suggest our own radical alternative. Drawing on Floden, Buchmann and Schwille's idea of “Breaking with Everyday Experience” we propose an alternative notion of original science learning in terms of Alfred Schutz's modification of Williams James' many worlds thesis. The many worlds thesis will allow us to better understand students' difficulty in learning idealized worlds such as science, worlds that represent a discontinuous break with ordinary everyday practical experience. (shrink)
The philosophy of science has witnessed continuous controversy since the mid-twentieth century regarding the justification of science?s privileged position, and which has also reverberated in the philosophy of scienceeducation. This contribution brings to the discussion the viewpoint of Hans-Georg Gadamer?s philosophical hermeneutics. I suggest that by relating to the idea of the fallibility of knowledge, Gadamerian philosophy provides a compromise between the extreme positions in the aforementioned debate. Gadamerian hermeneutics also has implications for science (...)education: from the Gadamerian perspective, scienceeducation should (1) induce experiences of negation that familiarize learners with their own pre-understanding and (2) introduce learners to the fallibility of knowledge. Finally, I argue that both instances (1) and (2) aim to cultivate non-dogmatism in learners. (shrink)
Despite the increase in marine science curriculum in secondary schools, marine science is not generally required curricula and has been largely deemphasized or ignored in relation to earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. I call for the integration and implementation of marine science more fully in secondary scienceeducation through authentic inquiry practices that foster the development of an erotic relationship with the ocean. Such a relationship can provide an opportunity to develop ocean literacy (...) if that means people who engage can actively participate in making more informed choices and advocate for affected parties and the ocean. I show how Simone de Beauvoir's erotic ethic influences the philosophy of the eroticism of the ocean, which is integral in the investigation and promotion of erotic generosities in scienceeducation, and using this theory to develop some educational implications for marine science within scienceeducation. Ultimately, I argue that the development and nurturing of an erotic ethic in the scienceeducation classroom is a valuable way to promote moral and ethical thinking such that students can afford nature, and more specifically in this article, the ocean, equivalent moral considerations in our community and scienceeducation. (shrink)
Although there is universal consensus both in the scienceeducation literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called “the consensus view” about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science (...) on which there is wide consensus. This is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail. (shrink)
This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to scienceeducation. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning science''s rationality. The second involves the aims of education; here it is argued that a fundamental educational aim is the fostering of rationality, or its (...) educational cognate, critical thinking. The ramifications of these two philosophical theses for scienceeducation are then considered, and a scienceeducation which takes reasons in science as its fundamental feature is sketched. (shrink)
Educational worries about indoctrination are linked to matters of rationality and of the ethics of belief. These are both threatened by too 'open' approaches to moral education and by too 'closed' approaches to scienceeducation. The moral importance of what is involved points to the need to inform the teaching of all disciplines by reflection on their rational foundations.
In a recent contribution to Learning for Democracy, Richard Bailey argues that Thomas Kuhn advocated an indoctrinatory model of scienceeducation, which is fundamentally authority-based. While agreeing with Bailey’s conclusion, this article suggests that Kuhn was attempting to solve an important problem which Bailey only touches on – how to ensure that science students do not become hypercritical. It continues by offering a critical rationalist solution to this problem, arguing that paradigms qua exemplars should be historical problem-solving (...) episodes, rather than model solutions to puzzles. (shrink)
The world is facing an apparently increasing dose of violence. Obviously, there cannot be a simple solution to this complex problem. But at the same time it may be appreciated that, in the interests of humanity, a solution must be pursued in every possible way by everyone. This article is concerned with what one could possibly do at the academic level. Since lack of openness of thought appears to be a fundamental contributor to this unfortunate problem, attempting to cultivate this (...) quality at all levels can perhaps go a long way towards making our earth a better place to live in. With science and engineering education, how can one possibly blend this concern? History of science and the subject of measurement uncertainty may present the necessary scope to the educator to discuss with the students the desirability and necessity of this quality. (shrink)
Certain segments of science are becoming increasingly commercialized. This article discusses the commercialization of academic science and its impact on various aspects of science. It also aims to provide an introduction to the articles in this special issue. I briefly describe the major factors that led to this phenomenon, situate it in the context of the changing social regime of science and give a thumbnail sketch of its costs and benefits. I close with a general discussion (...) of how the topic of commercialization of academic science is relevant to scienceeducation. (shrink)
Science traditionally is taught as a linear process based on logic and carried out by objective researchers following the scientific method. Practice of science is a far more nuanced enterprise, one in which intuition and passion become just as important as objectivity and logic. Whether the activity is committing to study a particular research problem, drawing conclusions about a hypothesis under investigation, choosing whether to count results as data or experimental noise, or deciding what information to present in (...) a research paper, ethical challenges inevitably will arise because of the ambiguities inherent in practice. Unless these ambiguities are acknowledged and their sources understood explicitly, responsible conduct of scienceeducation will not adequately prepare the individuals receiving the training for the kinds of decisions essential to research integrity that they will have to make as scientists. (shrink)
Continuing advances in human ability to manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular levels (i.e. nanoscale science and engineering) offer many previously unimagined possibilities for scientific discovery and technological development. Paralleling these advances in the various science and engineering subdisciplines is the increasing realization that a number of associated social, ethical, environmental, economic and legal dimensions also need to be explored. An important component of such exploration entails the identification and analysis of the ways in which current and (...) prospective researchers in these fields conceptualize these dimensions of their work. Within the context of a National Science Foundation funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in nanomaterials processing and characterization at the University of Central Florida (2002–2004), here I present for discussion (i) details of a “nanotechnology ethics” seminar series developed specifically for students participating in the program, and (ii) an analysis of students’ and participating research faculty’s perspectives concerning social and ethical issues associated with nanotechnology research. I conclude with a brief discussion of implications presented by these issues for general scientific literacy and public scienceeducation policy. (shrink)
While complexity science is gaining interest among educational theorists, its constructs do not speak to educational responsibility or related core issues in education of power and ethics. Yet certain themes of complexity, as taken up in educational theory, can help unsettle the more controlling and problematic discourses of educational responsibility such as the potential to limit learning and subjectivity or to prescribe social justice. The purpose of this article is to critically examine complexity science against notions of (...) responsibility in terms of implications for education. First, themes of complexity science prominent in contemporary educational writing are explained. Then dilemmas of responsibility in complexity are explored, such as what forms and meanings responsibility can have in a ‘complexified’ perspective of education, how care for others is mobilised, and how desire can be understood. Analyses of ethical action grounded in complexity science are then examined, as well as theories of the ethical subject and participatory responsibility that are congruent with certain tenets of a complexity ontology. Finally, the possibility of an educational vision of responsibility animated by complexity theories is considered, drawing from related writings of Bai, Biesta, Derrida, Levinas and Varela. (shrink)
This paper describes an attempt to introduce philosophy and history of science to pre-service science teachers. I argue briefly for the view that science in the schools cannot be taught without implicitly assuming a particular philosophy of science. Therefore, both philosophy and history of science are necessary components of undergraduate scienceeducation courses.
It is argued that the manner in which we teach science in the high schools represents an outdated positivistic conception of science. The standard presentation of a year of each of chemistry, biology and physics should be replaced by an integrated science plus history, philosophy, and sociology of science which would take a total of three years to complete. A proper appreciation for the true nature of science is essential to the continued health of the (...) scientific enterprise. (shrink)
This article investigates the biopolitical dimensions that have grown out of the union between biocapitalism and current scienceeducation reform in the US. Drawing on science and technology study theorists, I utilize the analytics of promissory valuation and salvationary discourses to understand how scientific literacy in the neo-Sputnik era has deeply involved educational life in biocapitalist circuits of exchange and production. I lay out this emerging terrain of ‘futuricity’ through a biopolitical analysis of the National Academies highly (...) influential policy recommendation on scienceeducation, Rising Above the Gathering Storm as well as the Association of American Universities' National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative. Here it is argued that the educational subject usually seen as a site of human capital investment can better be understood as a ‘biovalue’ in at least two senses: the educational subject's body as a site of investment and as an extractable source of value directly related to the larger globally competitive regime of the rapidly growing bioeconomy. I conclude my analysis of the vital politics at play in the biocapitalist articulation of scienceeducation with an alternative model of scientific literacy that is based in what I call biodemocratic practices. I explore such a rereading of scientific literacy through the example of the GrowHaus—a sustainable urban farm situated in a marginalized community in a major US city. The GrowHaus offers a model of scientific literacy that rejects extractive ethics associated with biocapitalist production and instead promotes a sustainable and socially just practice of science. (shrink)
This paper comments on the process of re-development of the Maori-medium Science (Pūtaiao) curriculum, as part of overall curriculum development in Aotearoa New Zealand. A significant difference from the English Science curriculum was the addition of an ‘extra strand’ covering the history and philosophy of science. It is recommended that this strand be taught by means of narratives (i.e. using ‘narrative pedagogy’) in order to avoid a superficial didacticism that succumbs to the traditional notion of science (...) curriculum content as ‘merely factual’ in nature. An argument is presented for the ethical necessity of including this extra material in Māori scienceeducation. (shrink)
Public discussions of science are often marred by two pernicious phenomena: a widespread rejection of scientific findings (e.g., the reality of anthropogenic climate change, the conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism, or the validity of evolutionary theory), coupled with an equally common acceptance of pseudoscientific notions (e.g., homeopathy, psychic readings, telepathy, tall tales about alien abductions, and so forth). The typical reaction by scientists and science educators is to decry the sorry state of science literacy among (...) the general public, and to call for more scienceeducation as the answer to both problems. But the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between science literacy, rejection of science and acceptance of pseudoscience is mixed at best. In this chapter I argue that—while certainly important—efforts at increasing public knowledge of science (scienceeducation) need to be complemented by attention to common logical fallacies (philosophy), cognitive biases and dissonance (psychology), and the role of ideological commitments (sociology). Even this complex, multi-disciplinary approach to scienceeducation will likely only yield measurable results in the very long term. Meanwhile science remains, as Carl Sagan famously put it, a candle in the dark, delicate and in need of much nurturing. (shrink)
It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological (...) theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philoso- phers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom. (shrink)