Science & Education

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 641–666

Science, Worldviews and Education: An Introduction

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11191-008-9170-6

Cite this article as:
Matthews, M.R. Sci & Educ (2009) 18: 641. doi:10.1007/s11191-008-9170-6

Abstract

This special issue of Science & Education deals with the theme of ‘Science, Worldviews and Education’. The theme is of particular importance at the present time as many national and provincial education authorities are requiring that students learn about the Nature of Science (NOS) as well as learning science content knowledge and process skills. NOS topics are being written into national and provincial curricula. Such NOS matters give rise to questions about science and worldviews: What is a worldview? Does science have a worldview? Are there specific ontological, epistemological and ethical prerequisites for the conduct of science? Does science lack a worldview but nevertheless have implications for worldviews? How can scientific worldviews be reconciled with seemingly discordant religious and cultural worldviews? In addition to this major curricular impetus for refining understanding of science and worldviews, there are also pressing cultural and social forces that give prominence to questions about science, worldviews and education. There is something of an avalanche of popular literature on the subject that teachers and students are variously engaged by. Additionally the modernisation and science-based industrialisation of huge non-Western populations whose traditional religions and beliefs are different from those that have been associated with orthodox science, make very pressing the questions of whether, and how, science is committed to particular worldviews. Hugh Gauch Jr. provides a long and extensive lead essay in the volume, and 12 philosophers, educators, scientists and theologians having read his paper, then engage with the theme. Hopefully the special issue will contribute to a more informed understanding of the relationship between science, worldviews and education, and provide assistance to teachers who are routinely engaged with the subject.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia