School science: a questionable construct?

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Abstract:

I explore the emergence of science and scientific method as political constructs in the 19th century and argue that the associated rhetoric continues to have significant consequences for contemporary school science education. It allows science to be promoted as a coherent curriculum component and fosters an untenable but enduring notion of a unifying scientific method that ignores important philosophical, conceptual, and methodological differences between the basic scientific disciplines. It also fails to reflect the profound shifts that have taken place in the scale and nature of science since the end of the Second World War. As a result, school science faces a number of challenges that have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve.
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