Research in Science Education

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 111–126

Who writes the recipes in science? Possibilities from four years of action research with students and their scientific literacy


    • Science and Mathematics Education CentreCurtin University of Technology

DOI: 10.1007/BF02461183

Cite this article as:
Willison, J. Research in Science Education (1999) 29: 111. doi:10.1007/BF02461183


This paper presents an action research study on student scientific literacy, which is analysed by two metaphors of learning, introduced by Sfard (1998), and adapted to fit the context. These metaphors are students working in science as if they follow recipes and students working in science as if they devise recipes. By looking at the relationship between the metaphors in each of four vignettes that represent the research, possibilities are considered for the usefulness of the metaphors as a framework that provides common ground for otherwise divergent views about scientific literacy. Issues of how to represent and legitimate some action research, and considerations for the need to tightly integrate reading, writing, conversing and experimenting tasks to facilitate scientific literacy are also prominent.

Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1999