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Nature of science

Ratcliffe, Mary (2004) Nature of science In, Sharp, John (eds.) Developing Primary Science. Exeter, UK, Learning Matters Ltd pp. 4-18.

Record type: Book Section


Few teachers of science have a formal education in the nature of science, that is an in-depth study of the history and philosophy of science and a chance to examine views on its purpose and practice. Teachers tend to gain an understanding of the nature of science implicitly through their experience of science, whether that be ‘school science’ or science as practised in higher education or industry. Seldom is that understanding made explicit either by reflection or formal evaluation. Controversy surrounds the nature of science – some philosophers spend their working lives examining and debating the meaning and practices of science. Thus it is perhaps not surprising that many teachers are considered to hold naïve views about the nature of science (Abd-El-Khalick and Lederman, 2000). Yet thinking about the nature of science promotes debate about what is important in children’s education about science. This chapter explores views on teaching and learning about the nature of science and its relevance to primary education.

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Published date: 1 June 2004
Keywords: primary science teaching, nature of science


Local EPrints ID: 58079
ISBN: 1844450023
PURE UUID: 46d17bb0-5464-458d-b710-9808aa49b73c

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Date deposited: 12 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:27

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Author: Mary Ratcliffe
Editor: John Sharp

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