Progressing Science Education: Constructing the Scientific Research Programme into the Contingent Nature of Learning Science

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 29, 2009 - Science - 400 pages
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Exploring one of the central themes in science education theory, this volume examines how science education can be considered as a scientific activity within a broad post-positivist notion of science.

Many students find learning science extremely problematic, whatever level of education they have reached. At the end of the 1970s a new approach to tackling learning difficulties in science was developed, drawing on ideas from psychology and cognitive science, and centred on the way students build up new knowledge in reference to their existing ideas. ‘Constructivism’ became the dominant paradigm in science education research for two decades, spawning a vast body of literature reporting aspects of learners’ ideas in different science topics. However, Constructivism came under fire as it was recognised that the research did not offer immediate and simple prescriptions for effective science teaching. The whole approach was widely criticised, in particular by those who saw it as having ‘anti-science’ leanings.

In this book, the notion of scientific research programmes is used to understand the development, limitations and potential of constructivism. It is shown that constructivist work in science education fits into a coherent programme exploring the contingencies of learning science. The author goes further to address criticisms of constructivism; evaluate progress in the field; and suggest directions for future research. It is concluded that constructivism has provided the foundations for a progressive research programme that continues to guide enquiry into learning and teaching science.

 

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Contents

Taber_Intropdf
1
Taber_Ch01pdf
7
Taber_Ch02pdf
51
Taber_Ch03pdf
79
Taber_Ch04pdf
111
Taber_Ch05pdf
147
Taber_Ch06pdf
218
Taber_Ch07pdf
325
Taber_Final Thoughtspdf
357
Taber_Referencespdf
361
Taber_Name Indexpdf
385
Taber_Subject Indexpdf
391
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