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Looking at the Social Aspects of Nature of Science in Science Education Through a New Lens

The Role of Economics and Entrepreneurship

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Abstract

Particular social aspects of the nature of science (NOS), such as economics of, and entrepreneurship in science, are understudied in science education research. It is not surprising then that the practical applications, such as lesson resources and teaching materials, are scarce. The key aims of this article are to (a) synthesize perspectives from the literature on economics of science (EOS), entrepreneurship, NOS, and science education in order to have a better understanding of how science works in society and (b) illustrate how such a synthesis can be incorporated in the practice of science education. The main objectives of this article are to (1) argue for the role and inclusion of EOS and entrepreneurship in NOS and re-define entrepreneurship in the NOS context; (2) explore the issues emerging in the “financial systems” of the Family Resemblance Approach (FRA) to NOS and propose the inclusion of contemporary aspects of science, such as EOS and entrepreneurship, into NOS; (3) conceptualize NOS, EOS, and entrepreneurship in a conceptual framework to explain how science works in the society; and (4) transform the theoretical knowledge of how science operates in society into practical applications for science teaching and learning. The conceptual framework that we propose illustrates the links between State, Academia, Market and Industry (the SAMI cycle framework). We suggest practical lesson activities to clarify how the theoretical discussions on the SAMI cycle framework can be useful and relevant for classroom practice. In this article, science refers to physics, chemistry, and biology. However, we also recommend an application of this framework to other sciences to reveal their social-institutional side.

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Kaya, S., Erduran, S., Birdthistle, N. et al. Looking at the Social Aspects of Nature of Science in Science Education Through a New Lens. Sci & Educ 27, 457–478 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-018-9990-y

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