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Why compulsory science education should not include science education

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Davson-Galle, P. (2008) Why compulsory science education should not include science education. Science and Education, 17 (7). pp. 677-716. ISSN 0926-7220

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Abstract

Abstract. Like many readers of this journal, I have long been an advocate of having science students introduced to philosophy of science. In particular, influenced by the Philosophy for Children movement founded by Matthew Lipman, I have advocated such an introduction as early as possible and have championed early secondary school as an appropriate place. Further, mainstream science curricula in a number of countries have, for some time now, supported such introductions (albeit of a more limited sort) under the banner of introducing students to the "Nature of Science". In this paper, I explore a case against such introductions, partly in role as "Devil's Advocate" and partly exploring genuine qualms that have come to disturb me. Generally speaking, my judgement is that no justification is available in terms of benefit to the individual or to society of sufficient weight to outweigh the loss of freedom of choice involved in such forced learning. One possible exception is a minimalist and intellectually passive "Nature of Science" introduction to some uncontroversial philosophical views about science.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Key words: compulsory curricula, student freedom, autonomy, paternalism, group benefit versus individual benefit, school philosophy of science, philosophy for children, nature of science.
Journal or Publication Title: Science and Education
Page Range: pp. 677-716
ISSN: 0926-7220
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s11191-006-9043-9
Additional Information: The original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2008 04:36
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:47
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/7223
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