, Volume 18, Issue 6-7, pp 783-796
Date: 15 Jun 2007

Imagining the World: The Significance of Religious Worldviews for Science Education

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Abstract

This article begins by examining whether ‘science’ and ‘religion’ can better be seen as distinct or related worldviews, focusing particularly on scientific and religious understandings of biodiversity. I then explore how people can see the natural world, depending on their worldview, by looking at two contrasting treatments of penguin behaviour, namely that provided in the film March of the Penguins and in the children’s book And Tango Makes Three. I end by drawing some initial conclusions as to what might and what might not be included about religion in school science lessons. Science educators and teachers need to take account of religious worldviews if some students are better to understand the compass of scientific thinking and some of science’s key conclusions. It is perfectly possible for a science teacher to be respectful of the worldviews that students occupy, even if these are scientifically limited, while clearly and non-apologetically helping them to understand the scientific worldview on a particular issue.