Demythologizing or Dehumanizing? A Response to Settlage and the Ideals of Open Inquiry
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I read with intrigue and appreciation John Settlage’s recent editorial piece (Settlage 2007) in this journal regarding the notion of mythology and its pertinence to the ideals of open inquiry. Much of what Settlage described gives me pause and a fresh new perspective on curriculum reform and the ideals of science education. Many of the points of his editorial are fascinating to me and, I believe, productive considerations for our field. Knowing that myths are pervasive and unavoidable empowers us to identify them for what they are and prevent them from stalling progress in any given field or endeavor.
I especially appreciate Settlage’s mirror, now turned back upon us to show the discipline its own blemishes. In this case, we see the inconsistencies of advocating the ideals of open inquiry without clear evidence that it supports student learning of science content. As Settlage pointed out, “Adhering to myths can distract our efforts from legitimate problems that are more deserving of...
I am grateful to John Settlage for writing the original piece, no doubt to create discomfort, disagreement, and discussion. I am also grateful to Charlene Czerniak for considering my response in this journal.
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