Science & Education

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 583–589

Apples and Oranges: A Rejoinder to Smith and Siegel

  • Bill Cobern


This article reiterates the view that belief and knowledge can be conflated based on having a common form. The pedagogical advantage is that teachers are less likely to close off student discussions needed to help students develop an understanding of the characteristics and limitations of scientific knowledge. It is also less likely that a teacher's non-scientific presuppositions will be masked as science. The Smith and Siegel stipulated criteria for a distinction between belief and knowledge are, therefore, irrelevant to my argument. It is not that one can't stipulate criteria for distinguishing belief and knowledge; it is that for sound pedagogical reasons one shouldn't.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Cobern

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