Reconsidering the 'nature of science' as a curriculum component

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Although the nature of science has long been seen as an important, indeed central, component of science education during this century, efforts to integrate an authentic view of the nature of science into the curriculum have often met with little success. Work in the field of science studies since the 1960s has compounded this difficulty by presenting educators with various competing, often conflicting, views of the essence of scientific inquiry. I discuss previous attempts to come to grips with this fundamental issue of how to deal with the competing views of science and suggest an alternative approach for integrating nature of science issues into the school science curriculum. What is needed is for educators to accept that no single nature of science exists and to develop curricula that help students understand instead the diverse, local practices that are found within and across scientific disciplines.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2000

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