Science & Education

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 1963–2006 | Cite as

Romanticism and Romantic Science: Their Contribution to Science Education

  • Yannis Hadzigeorgiou
  • Roland Schulz


The unique contributions of romanticism and romantic science have been generally ignored or undervalued in history and philosophy of science studies and science education. Although more recent research in history of science has come to delineate the value of both topics for the development of modern science, their merit for the educational field has not been explored. Romanticism was not only an obvious historical period, but a particular state of mind with its own extraordinary emotional sensitivity towards nature. It is especially the latter which we hope to revisit and reclaim for science education. After discussing several key historical contributions, we describe nine characteristics of ‘Romantic Science’ in order to focus on six ideas/possibilities that we believe hold much value for transforming current science education: (1) the emotional sensitivity toward nature, (2) the centrality of sense experience, (3) the importance of “holistic experience”, (4) the importance of the notions of mystery and wonder, (5) the power of science to transform people’s outlook on the natural world, and (6) the importance of the relationship between science and philosophy. It is argued that in view of a pragmatist/utilitarian conception of school science prevalent today the aforementioned ideas (especially the notion of wonder and the poetic/non-analytical mode of knowledge), can provide food for thought for both science teachers and researchers seeking to work out an aesthetic conception, one that complements current approaches such as inquiry science and conceptual change.


Science Education Sense Experience Aesthetic Experience Science Teacher Education Constructivist Perspective 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the AegeanRhodesGreece
  2. 2.IERGSimon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada

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