CHAPTER 6UNDERSTANDING HOW SCIENTIFICKNOWLEDGE IS CONSTRUCTED By Adriana Lopez & Jessica Moreno
Science is not only a body of knowledge, but also a way of knowing. One important underpinning for learning science is students understanding of the nature and structure of scientific knowledge and the process by which is developed
FOCUS ON THE STATUS Childrens understanding Most children do not develop a understanding Methods of science, the school curriculum Facilitate their understand of scienceOnce undertake it is easier to understand scientificknowledge is constructed.
UNDERLYING MODEL OF THE NATURE ANDDEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE KNOWLEDGE K-8 years, review approaches the field has taken to articulate the underlying model of building scientific knowledge. Osborne and colleagues (2003) identify the ideas about science that should be part of the school science curriculum.include: science and certainty Analysis and interpretation of data Scientific method and critical testing Hypothesis and prediction ect.
OSBORNE DEFINITIONS OF SCIENCEEPISTEMOLOGY List of four broad epistemological themes1st- the viewing scientific knowledge as constructed is ofprimary importance that underscores a dialecticalrelationship between theory and evidence.2nd- theme is that scientific methods are diverse: there isno single method which generically applies to all scientificinquires.3rd- scientific knowledge comes in different forms, whichvary in their explanatory and predictive power.4th- defining the aspects of understanding theepistemology that have been linked to enhancing thedevelopment of science understanding.
SCIENCE EPISTEMOLOGY (CONT.) Gobert and colleagues have studied the epistemology of model of students.Include their understanding of models asrepresentations of causal or explanatory ideas, thatthere can be multiple models of the same thing, thatmodels do not need to be exactly like the thingmodeled, and that models can be revised or changedin light of new data.
SCIENCE EPISTEMOLOGY (CONT.)Schwartz and White (2005)Found that students pretest modeling knowledge wasthe only variable that was a significant predictor ofsuccess for all three posttest measure and it was thebest predictor of both posttest content and modelingknowledge.
UNDERSTANDING KNOWLEDGECONSTRUCTION Developmental literature involves a continuation of the theory of mind frame into the elementary school years. At 6yrs children begin to develop a view of mind as an active interpreter Young children understanding of the constructive nature of knowledge itself has not been studied extensively, but upper elementary school students tend to fall short of viewing knowledge as rooted in a theoretical world view.
UNDERSTANDING KNOWLEDGECONSTRUCTION (CONT) Perry (1999) individuals display shifts in their general stancetoward knowledge and knowing. Specifically, manyyoung people enter early adolescence embracing anabsolutist or dualist view of knowledge and truth. Boyes and Ball (1990) epistemic doubt, they struggle with the erosionof their certainty and may lose confidence altogetherthat it is possible to be certain about anything
UNDERSTANDING KNOWLEDGECONSTRUCTION (CONT.) In later adolescence or early adulthood. Some individuals may pass through relativism to embrace a contextualize commitment to reasoned judgment, although this move is by no means typical or inevitable. Understand that knowledge is neither certain nor complete.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDResearch included:1. Science specific developmental literature2. Epistemic cognition literature focused on understanding of science as a way of knowing3. Survey-based data focused on children’s beliefs
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDImagine how holding either absolutist or relativistepistemologies could lead to distorted view ofnature of science.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDMany students do not understand that science isprimarily a theory-building enterprise.Students learn through observation, hypotheses, andexperiment.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDStudents may not make clear distinctions between theory,specific hypotheses, and evidence, and they may expect tofind simpler and more direct relations between data andconclusions than warranted.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDChildren are rarely taught abut controversy in science, soWhy would they come to view scientific knowledge ascontested?
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDResearch suggest that K-8 students have a limitedunderstanding of how scientific knowledge is constructed.However, it is not clear to what extent one can attributesuch limitations to developmental state, as opposed toadequacy of instructional opportunity or other experiences.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDAn analysis of curriculum by the American Associationfor the Advancement of Science (AAAS) indicates thatall curricular content is typically represented as ofequal importance, with little attention to itsinterconnections or functionality.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDCurriculum has been criticizedMethods of Science dominate the school ScienceCurriculum.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTED“Science taught in schools is often different fromactual science and from everyday life. Students’learning difficulties are thus increased becauseScientific goals are distorted and scientific ways ofthinking are inadequately taught.” Rief and Larkin (1991)
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDResearch on sixth grade students’ understanding of thenature of science suggested that they had a much bettersense of the constructive, knowledge problematic nature ofthe enterprise. Example: Designing a model that works like a human elbow.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDTable 6-1 One Progression of increasingly sophisticatedMetaconceptual activities in grades 1-6 Page 180 - 181
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SCIENCEAND HOW IT IS CONSTRUCTEDThe lack of attention to theory, explanation, and modelsmay exacerbate the difficulties children have withunderstanding how scientific knowledge is constructed.