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Science & Education

, Volume 18, Issue 6–7, pp 697–728 | Cite as

Teaching the Philosophical and Worldview Components of Science

  • Michael R. MatthewsEmail author
Article

Abstract

A common feature of contemporary science education curricula is the expectation that as well as learning science content, students will learn something about science—its nature, its history, how it differs from non-scientific endeavours, and its interactions with culture and society. These curricular pronouncements provide an ‘open cheque’ for the inclusion of history and philosophy of science in science teacher education programmes, and for their utilisation in classrooms. Unfortunately this open cheque is too often not cashed. This paper will discuss an important aspect of the contribution of science to culture, namely its role in the development of worldviews in society. A case study of the adjustments to a central Roman Catholic doctrine occasioned by the metaphysics of Atomism which was embraced at the Scientific Revolution will be presented. Options for the reconciliation of seemingly conflicting scientific and religious worldviews are laid out, and it is claimed that as far as liberal education is concerned, the important thing is to have students first recognise what are the options, and then carefully examine them to come to their own conclusions about reconciliation or otherwise.

Keywords

Scientific Revolution Open Cheque Cultural Worldview Philosophical Matter Metaphysical Position 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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