03 Dec 2019

GOING DIGITAL THE DIGITAL WAY. A NEW HOPE FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION?

The call for reforms in science education has been ongoing for a century, with new movements and approaches continuously reshaping the identity and values of the discipline. The HPS movement has an equally long history and takes part in the debates defining its purpose and revising the curriculum. Its limited success, however, is due not only to compete with alternative visions and paradigms (e.g. STS, multi-culturalism, constructivism, traditionalism) which deadlock implementation, and which have led to conflicting meanings of scientific literacy, but the inability to rise above the debate. At issue is a fundamental problem plaguing science education at the school level, one it shares with education in general. It is my contention that it requires a guiding ‘‘metatheory’’ of education that can appropriately distance itself from the dual dependencies of metatheories in psychology and the demands of socialization—especially as articulated in most common conceptions of scientific literacy tied to citizenship.

The call for reforms in science education has been ongoing for a century, with new movements and approaches continuously reshaping the identity and values of the discipline. The HPS movement has an equally long history and taken part in the debatesdefining its purpose and revising the curriculum. Its limited success, however, is due not only to compete with alternative visions and paradigms (e.g. STS, multi-culturalism, constructivism, traditionalism) which deadlock implementation, and which have led toconflicting meanings of scientific literacy, but the inability to rise above the debate. A tissue is a fundamental problem plaguing science education at the school level, one it shares with education in general. It is my contention that it requires a guiding ‘‘metatheory’’ of education that can appropriately distance itself from the dual dependencies of metatheories psychology and the demands of socialization especially as articulated in most common conceptions of scientific literacy tied to citizenship.

A New Approach To Learning And Teaching

The process by which scientific theories are developed and the form that those theories take differ from one domain of science to another, but all sciences share certain common features at the core of their problem-solving and inquiry approaches. Chief among these is the attitude that data and evidence hold a primary position in deciding any issue. Thus, when well-established data, from experiment or observation, conflict with a theory or hypothesis, then that idea must be modified or abandoned and other explanations must be sought that can incorporate or take account of the new evidence. This also means that models, theories, and hypotheses are valued to the extent that they make testable (or in principle testable) precise predictions for as yet unmeasured or unobserved effects; provide a coherent conceptual framework that is consistent with a body of facts that are currently known; and offer suggestions of new paths for further study. initially, science and scientific discovery is fun but as we move on to 11+ schooling all the magic will have vaporized away and what was once something to look forward to becomes a daunting task.

Unfortunately, it is also the time when science acolytes distance themselves away from the discipline and no matter how much those who persevere promise that it will get better, the damage will have been done. digital technologies can come into play. The path of integrating digital technologies in education was and still is nothing less than torturous. While the coming of new technologies can bring new hope, any eventual change does not always equalize to progress. Taking it from recent history, the introduction, performance and validated output of technology in education is best described by recurrent vicious de/evolution cycles of failures

School science has traditionally focused on teaching a predetermined canon of science concepts. The belief was that this knowledge was important for students to understand and engage with science, whether as responsible, knowledgeable citizens or by pursuing a science-related career. Knowledge development was understood to build incrementally from year to year. However, in a world where the content, volume and accessibility of knowledge, including scientific knowledge, increase vastly on a daily basis, and educational emphasis on acquiring existing science knowledge no longer seems sufficient. Rather, there is growing recognition of the need for students to develop skills such as adaptability, complex communication/social skills; nonroutine problem-solving skills; self-management/self-development; and systems thinking. Of course, expert knowledge is still needed. But it will not, on its own, be enough. In order to contribute effectively and meaningfully, people will need to be able to articulate their contribution, and listen to, seek clarification from and negotiate with others. To do this, they need to have the knowledge to contribute, and they need to be able to make connections within and between conversations. This means being able to think and communicate clearly.

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