Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Indoctrination and Science Education

  • Darrell P. RowbottomEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_39-1


Can students be trained to be excellent scientists purely, or failing that mainly, by means of indoctrination? And if not, what role, if any, should indoctrination play in science education? These are the main questions discussed in this entry. They are epistemic and pragmatic, rather than moral, in character.

Two preliminary questions are crucial to answer effectively, however. First, to what does “indoctrination” refer in the present context? Second, to what extent is indoctrination possible to avoid? In the remainder of this section, these are tackled in turn.

“Indoctrination” might conjure up images of cults using tactics such as sleep deprivation in order to seduce the vulnerable, or of a Bond villain using a brainwashing machine to acquire henchmen. But such a narrow construal of the term is unsuitable in the present entry, which is more concerned with practices and approaches that are typically legally permissible, and are sometimes employed, in contemporary...


Science Education Normal Science Gold Foil Letter Word Crossword Puzzle 
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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Brush, S. G. (1974). Should the history of science be rated X? Science, 183, 1164–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gelfert, A. (2014). A critical introduction to testimony. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  3. Kuhn, T. S. (1963). The function of dogma in scientific research. In A. C. Crombie (Ed.), Scientific change (pp. 347–369). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Kuhn, T. S. (1970a). Logic of discovery or psychology of research? In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism and the growth of knowledge (pp. 1–23). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kuhn, T. S. (1970b). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Lipton, P. (1998). The epistemology of testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 29, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Matthews, M. R. (2004). Thomas Kuhn and science education: What lessons can be learnt? Science Education, 88, 90–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Matthews, M. R. (2015). Science teaching: The contribution of history and philosophy of science. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Popper, K. (1970). Normal science and its dangers. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism and the growth of knowledge (pp. 51–58). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rowbottom, D. P. (2011). Kuhn vs. Popper on criticism and dogmatism in science: A resolution at the group level. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 42, 117–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rowbottom, D. P. (In Progress). The instrument of science.Google Scholar
  12. Siegel, H. (1979). On the distortion of the history of science in science education. Science Education, 63, 111–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Snook, I. (1972a). Indoctrination and education. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Snook, I. (Ed.). (1972b). Concepts of indoctrination. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lingnan UniversityHong KongChina