The science curriculum and education for democracy in the risk society
How can the science curriculum make a contribution to education for democracy in 'the risk society'? The characteristics of a 'risk society' are identified and the problematic role of scientific knowledge in such a society briefly reviewed. Kuhn's notion of science as a community of practice is suggested as the most appropriate model if the aim is to teach a view of science which is compatible with the provisional, 'risky' and collaborative nature of all knowledge in the contemporary context. Those features of the model which are particularly relevant to life in present-day society are clarified and the educational implications of this particular model are discussed under three headings: science as a way of knowing; science as cultural communication; and science as an expression of interests.
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