Ratcliffe, Mary, Osborne, Jonathan, Collins, Sue, Millar, Robin and Duschl, Rick
Evidence-based practice in Science Education (EPSE). Teaching pupils ‘ideas- about-science’: clarifying learning goals and improving pupil performance.
In, European Science Education Research Association Conference 2001, Thessaloniki, Greece,
21 - 26 Aug 2001.
Recent arguments propose that school science should pay more attention to teaching epistemic aspects of science. However, unlike the content of science, little is known about the extent of consensus within the science education community on which ‘ideas-about-science’ are essential elements of the science curriculum. This study sought to answer this issue empirically using a three stage Delphi process using 23 participants drawn from a community of leading and acknowledged experts in science education; science; history, philosophy and sociology of science; science teaching; and public understanding of science. The outcome was a set of 18 highly rated themes about the nature of science, for which 9 had very strong support. Together with extensive comments provided by the participants these data give some measure of the existing consensus in the community engaged in science communication about what should be taught about science. The second phase of the research investigates the extent to which these themes can be explicitly taught.
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