The ‘nature of science’ in the school curriculum: the great survivor

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Abstract:

This paper explores the ways in which the ‘nature of science’ (NoS) has been interpreted, accommodated and justified within school curricula since science was first schooled in the mid-nineteenth century. It explores how different interpretations of ‘the NoS’ have been invoked by those seeking to reform school science education in response to wider political, economic or social concerns such as the demand to ‘humanise’ school science teaching, to increase the supply of qualified scientists or to promote scientific literacy. It offers some comments upon the implications of these interpretations for current attempts to promote the ‘NoS’ in school science education. The focus of attention is England and, to a lesser extent, the USA but the issues raised are of contemporary relevance to many other parts of the world.

Keywords: STS; history and philosophy of science; nature of science; science curriculum reform

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2012.741264

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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