Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone


  • Derek Hodson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_272-1


Induction; Scientific method; Theory; Theory-driven; Theory-laden

Careful and systematic observation has long been recognized as an essential part of scientific investigation and a key element in scientific theory building, although views about the nature and status of scientific observation have undergone substantial change in recent years.

The traditional image of science asserts that observation provides a secure base of facts from which knowledge can be derived. It further asserts that the scientific endeavor begins with observation. Both these assertions are suspect. The supposed security of scientific observations rests on the assumption that human observers have direct access to the properties of the external world, that is, nothing enters the mind except by way of the senses and that the mind is a tabula rasa on which our senses inscribe a true and faithful record of the world. In other words, observations are independent of the opinions and expectations of the...


Science Teacher Solar Eclipse Theoretical Knowledge Science Lesson Scientific Observation 
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. Hanson NR (1958) Patterns of discovery. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Medawar PB (1969) Induction and intuition in scientific thought. Methuen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Nietzsche F (1906/1968) The will to power (revised text of original 1901 publication). Book 3: principles of a new evaluation (trans: Kaufmann W, Hollingdale RJ). Vintage Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Polanyi M (1958) Personal knowledge: towards a post-critical philosophy. Routledge & Kegan Paul, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of EducationThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand