History, Philosophy and Science Teaching argues that science teaching and science teacher education can be improved if teachers know something of the history and philosophy of science and if these topics are included in the science curriculum. The history and philosophy of science have important roles in many of the theoretical issues that science educators need to address: the goals of science education; what constitutes an appropriate science curriculum for all students; how science should be taught in traditional cultures; what (...) integrated science is; how scientific literacy can be promoted; and the conflict which can occur between science curriculum and deep-seated religious or cultural values and knowledge. In part, answers to these questions hinge on views about the nature of science, views that are best informed by historical and philosophical study. Outlining the history of liberal, or contextual, approaches to the teaching of science, Michael Matthews elaborates contemporary curriculum developments that explicitly address questions about the nature and the history of science. He provides examples of classroom teaching and develops useful arguments on constructivism, multicultural science education and teacher education. The book will appeal to school and university science teachers, educators of science teachers, and historians and philosophers of science. (shrink)
Science has always engaged with the worldviews of societies and cultures. The theme is of particular importance at the present time as many national and provincial education authorities are requiring that students learn about the nature of science (NOS) as well as learning science content knowledge and process skills. NOS topics are being written into national and provincial curricula. Such NOS matters give rise to at least the following questions about science, science teaching and worldviews: -/- What is a worldview? (...) -/- Does science have a worldview? -/- Are there specific ontological, epistemological and ethical prerequisites for the conduct of science? -/- Does science lack a worldview but nevertheless have implications for worldviews? -/- How can scientific worldviews and practice be reconciled with seemingly discordant religious and cultural worldviews? -/- In which ways do the worldviews of students impact on their interest and learning of science? -/- Should science teachers engage with the worldviews of students? -/- In addition to the NOS curricular impetus for refining understanding of science and worldviews, there are also pressing cultural and social forces that give prominence to questions about science, worldviews and education. There is something of an avalanche of popular literature on the subject that teachers and students are variously engaged by. Additionally the modernisation and science-based industrialisation of huge non-Western populations whose traditional religions and beliefs are different from those that have been associated with orthodox science make very pressing the questions of whether, and how, science is committed to and hence promotes particular worldviews and contradicts others. Hopefully this chapter, and others in the section, will contribute to a more informed understanding of the relationship between science, worldviews and education and provide assistance to teachers who are routinely engaged with the subject. (shrink)
These reflections range over some distinctive features of the journal Science & Education, they acknowledge in a limited way the many individuals who over the past 25 years have contributed to the success and reputation of the journal, they chart the beginnings of the journal, and they dwell on a few central concerns—clear writing and the contribution of HPS to teacher education. The reflections also revisit the much-debated and written-upon philosophical and pedagogical arguments occasioned by the rise and possible demise (...) of constructivism in science education. (shrink)
The pendulum has had immense scientific, cultural, social and philosophical impact. Historical, methodological and philosophical studies of pendulum motion can assist teachers to improve science education by developing enriched curricular material, and by showing connections between pendulum studies and other parts of the school programme, especially mathematics, social studies, technology and music. The pendulum is a universal topic in high-school science programmes and some elementary science courses; an enriched approach to its study can result in deepened science literacy across the (...) whole educational spectrum. Such literacy will be manifest in a better appreciation of the part played by science in the development of society and culture. Such history, philosophy and science (HPS)-informed teaching and study of pendulum motion can serve as an exemplar of the benefits of HPS-informed teaching across the science curriculum. (This chapter draws on material in Matthews (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), and on contributions to Matthews et al. (2005)). (shrink)
This is the first handbook to be published that is devoted to the field of historical and philosophical research in science and mathematics education (HPS&ST). Given that science and mathematics through their long history have always been engaged with philosophy and that for over a century it has been recognised that science and mathematics curriculum development, teaching, assessment and learning give rise to so many historical and philosophical questions, it is unfortunate that such a handbook has been so long coming.
It is thirty years since the last major reforms of science education. many believe that it is time for reappraisal of these earlier curricula, and for the renewal of science education-its content, aims, methods. also, and importantly, there is a renewed interest in the preparation of science teachers. this essay is a contribution to that task.
School science education is currently the subject of much debate. Historians and philosophers of science should play a role in this debate. Since the late nineteenth century there has been a persistent, if minor, tradition arguing for the incorporation of historical and philosophical dimensions in the teaching of school science. With the current crisis in science teaching, there are encouraging signs that more attention is being paid to this tradition. What is required is much greater collaboration between philosophers, historians, and (...) science educators, particularly in the training of teachers. (shrink)
This inaugural handbook documents the distinctive research field that utilizes history and philosophy in investigation of theoretical, curricular and pedagogical issues in the teaching of science and mathematics. It is contributed to by 130 researchers from 30 countries; it provides a logically structured, fully referenced guide to the ways in which science and mathematics education is, informed by the history and philosophy of these disciplines, as well as by the philosophy of education more generally. The first handbook to cover the (...) field, it lays down a much-needed marker of progress to date and provides a platform for informed and coherent future analysis and research of the subject. -/- The publication comes at a time of heightened worldwide concern over the standard of science and mathematics education, attended by fierce debate over how best to reform curricula and enliven student engagement in the subjects There is a growing recognition among educators and policy makers that the learning of science must dovetail with learning about science; this handbook is uniquely positioned as a locus for the discussion. -/- The handbook features sections on pedagogical, theoretical, national, and biographical research, setting the literature of each tradition in its historical context. Each chapter engages in an assessment of the strengths and weakness of the research addressed, and suggests potentially fruitful avenues of future research. A key element of the handbook’s broader analytical framework is its identification and examination of unnoticed philosophical assumptions in science and mathematics research. It reminds readers at a crucial juncture that there has been a long and rich tradition of historical and philosophical engagements with science and mathematics teaching, and that lessons can be learnt from these engagements for the resolution of current theoretical, curricular and pedagogical questions that face teachers and administrators. (shrink)