Science & Education

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 181–192

The cognitive skill of theory articulation: A neglected aspect of science education?

  • Stellan Ohlsson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00572838

Cite this article as:
Ohlsson, S. Sci Educ (1992) 1: 181. doi:10.1007/BF00572838


It is argued that scientific literacy requires that students know how to apply scientific theories. However, the process of articulating a theory with respect to a particular phenomenon, fact, or regularity is quite complex. Also, the procedures used to apply a theory are not part of the theory itself, and therefore are not necessarily learned by studying the content of the theory. It follows that the skill of theory articulation has to be taught explicitly. A preliminary analysis of textbooks and tests indicates that this is not currently done. Recent research on science education has not focussed on theory articulation, but Roger C. Schank's theory of explanation provides a starting point.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stellan Ohlsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Learning Research and Development CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghU.S.A.

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