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Nature of Science in the Science Curriculum: Origin, Development, Implications and Shifting Emphases

  • Derek Hodson
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter briefly traces the history of nature of science (NOS) orientations in science education, notes some differences in the way NOS is defined and in arguments used to justify its inclusion in the school science curriculum and acknowledges the centrality of NOS to recent curriculum and research initiatives based on scientific argumentation, modelling and consideration of socioscientific issues (SSI). Some critical scrutiny is directed towards the so-called consensus view of NOS and whether it adequately and appropriately represents the diversity of approach across the different subdisciplines of science. Of course, serious consideration of curriculum initiatives inevitably leads to questions concerning assessment policy and practice. Key issues relate to the philosophical adequacy and psychometric robustness of questionnaires, interviews, observation studies and approaches utilizing students’ drawings and stories and how best to record and report findings. After a brief discussion of some important pedagogical matters and consideration of some contemporary emphases in NOS-oriented curricula, including SSI-oriented teaching and efforts to shift attention towards a more authentic view of contemporary scientific practice (what Ziman (2000). Real science: What it is, and what it means. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. calls post-academic science), the chapter concludes with a piece of personal self-indulgence: advocacy of a move towards an action-oriented, SSI-based approach to science education at the school level, and beyond.

Keywords

Science Education Scientific Knowledge Emotional Intelligence Scientific Practice Science Curriculum 
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.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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