Being and Becoming Scientists Today

Reconstructing Assumptions about Science and Science Education to Reclaim a Learner–Scientist Perspective

  • Susan A. Kirch
  • Michele Amoroso

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 1-20
  3. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 21-56
  4. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 57-90
  5. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 91-137
  6. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 139-187
  7. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 189-192
  8. Susan A. Kirch, Michele Amoroso
    Pages 193-199
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 201-234

About this book


"• Can I contribute to science?
• Do I like to work on the problems of science? 
• How do scientists know what they know?
• Would I like to be|become a scientist? 

These are questions that interest new science students.  

The authors provide teachers with an approach to foster and answer these questions by concentrating on learners and learning. They argue that students are typically taught from a disciplinary perspective of science. Using this lens students are viewed as people who need to learn a particular canon of information, methods, and ways of knowing about the world—a perspective that may be useful for practicing scientists, but not ideal for young learners. In this disciplinary approach to science education there is little room for development as a scientist. In contrast, the approach championed by Kirch and Amoroso places learner questions about the world at the forefront of teaching and learning and treats science as a system of human activity. 

The historical explorations, theoretical insights and practical advice presented here are appropriate for all ages and educational settings. In Being and Becoming Scientists Today, the authors provide: new tools for thinking about science, ideas for how to reveal the multiple stories of knowledge production to learners, and approaches to teaching science as a collective process rather than a series of contributions made by (famous) individuals. In these ways, the authors promote the idea that all science learners contribute to the science in our lives."


Education – General Education – Science Education – Elementary Science education Cultural-historical activity theory Learner perspective Inquiry Curiosity

Authors and affiliations

  • Susan A. Kirch
    • 1
  • Michele Amoroso
    • 2
  1. 1.New York UniversityCanada
  2. 2.New York City Department of EducationUSA

Bibliographic information