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A framework for teaching epistemic insight in schools

Billingsley, B, Nassaji, M, Fraser, S ORCID: 0000-0002-0766-4892 and Lawson, F 2018 , 'A framework for teaching epistemic insight in schools' , Research in Science Education, vol. 48, no. 6 , 1115–1131 , doi:

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This paper gives the rationale and a draft outline for a framework for education to teach epistemic insight into schools in England. The motivation to research and propose a strategy to teach and assess epistemic insight followed research that investigated how students and teachers in primary and secondary schools respond to big questions about the nature of reality and human personhood. The research revealed that there are pressures in schools that dampen students’ expressed curiosity in these types of questions and limit their developing epistemic insight into how science, religion and the wider humanities relate. These findings prompted the construction of a framework for education for students aged 5–16 designed to encourage students’ expressed interest in big questions and develop their understanding of the ways that science interacts with other ways of knowing. The centrepiece of the framework is a sequence of learning objectives for epistemic insight, organised into three categories. The categories are, firstly, the nature of science in real world contexts and multidisciplinary arenas; secondly, ways of knowing and how they interact; and thirdly, the relationships between science and religion. Our current version of the Framework is constructed to respond to the way that teaching is organised in England. The key principles and many of the activities could be adopted and tailored to work in many other countries.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Billingsley, B and Nassaji, M and Fraser, S and Lawson, F
Keywords: epistemic insight, framework for education, curriculum, sequence of learning, big questions, uncritical scientism
Journal or Publication Title: Research in Science Education
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1573-1898
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright The Author(s) 2018

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