Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Introduction        There is a consensus among science educators that secondary school scienceeducation lacks a sense of d...
National Science Teachers Association (1978) is fully aware of these problems when itsays:               Science cannot be...
(a)     "The implications of new scientific findings for traditional philosophical               issues."       (b)     "T...
The Christian view of man/woman, therefore, is a major chapter in theology and religiouseducation. In fact before the adve...
Acting on: 6) carrying it into action; 7) repeatedly, with some consistency. 6The direct relevance of this threefold sketc...
Theology conceived as "faith seeking understanding" has always been concerned with thehuman persons ultimate values. As st...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5



Published on

Published in: Spiritual, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "Relevance"

  1. 1. Introduction There is a consensus among science educators that secondary school scienceeducation lacks a sense of direction as well as a theory and philosophy, which shouldprovide guidance to curriculum development and instruction (Connelly, 1974; Harms andYager, 1981; NSTA, 1978; Smith, 1980). For instance, Harms and Yager (1981) thinkthat one of the challenges facing science education programs is that they lack aphilosophic base. Hurd (1981) reports that in biology education, "philosophicalperceptions (of teachers are) not evident in practice, beyond a commitment to biology asa science," and that "curriculum and teaching practices are largely atheoretical androutine." Novak (1981) thinks, "Education guided by theory sufficiently comprehensiveto be valuable to practicing teachers is still in its infancy." Many of the activities of science curriculum development groups of the 1960s hadno foundation in the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science should have played aguiding role on questions of curriculum content although what was seen has beensummarized by Connelly (1974). While this activity (curriculum development) began with philosophical concerns for knowledge and for enquiry, it was largely dominated by the works of a few psychologists, notably, Bruner, Ausubel, Gagnè Piaget.Most of the programs at the time advocated a discovery approach to science teaching andlearning. Abimbola (198 1), in a study that surveyed expository, empirical research, andphilosophical literature on discovery, found few relationships between the conceptions ofdiscovery held by science educators and those of philosophers of science. This is afurther indication of the need to explore what aspects of philosophy of science could berelevant for certain aspects of science education. A second problem of school science is that it projects an empiricist-inductivistimage of science (Cawthron & Rowell, 1978). Cawthron and Rowell also note that thedetails of Poppers epistemology seem to have been little studied by science teachers andeducationists, as there is no clearly defined Popperian tradition in school science. The
  2. 2. National Science Teachers Association (1978) is fully aware of these problems when itsays: Science cannot be divorced from the critical realities of contemporary life and society. Neither can science continue to be seen as value-free. Science must be studied in the context of the times and society. Thus, science has many dimensions. Knowledge is only one dimension. There are also philosophical, moral, ethical, and practical dimensions of science.It is against this background that a discussion of the relevance of the new" philosophy ofscience for the science curriculum is presented. First, the relevance of a philosophy ofscience to science education will be discussed. A discussion of the history of sciencephilosophies will follow. The main features of the "new" philosophy of science then willbe described. Using these features of the new philosophy, a discussion will be presentedshowing how the new philosophy can be useful as a guide for the school sciencecurriculum. Finally, suggestions will be made as to the course that science educationcould take based upon the discussion of the philosophy of science in this paper.The Relevance of Philosophies of Science to Science Education Martin (1972) observed that the relevance of philosophy of science to scienceeducation has been largely unexplored and stated "philosophy of science can help scienceeducators in their thinking about science education and in their educational practice." It istherefore appropriate to explore what aspects of the philosophy of science make itrelevant to science education. According to Harr6 (1972), "The aim of philosophy of science is to elucidate theprinciples assumed in science." Brody (1970) goes further by identifying the kinds ofquestions which philosophers of science are primarily concerned with:
  3. 3. (a) "The implications of new scientific findings for traditional philosophical issues." (b) "The analysis of the fundamental concepts of the diverse scientific disciplines." (c) "The nature of the goals of the scientific enterprise and the methods the scientist employs to attain these goals. "Important questions relating to the science curriculum among the goals of philosophy ofscience include: how is science knowledge established? How does it become validknowledge? How does it eventually change its form and meaning? Therefore, scienceeducation can look to philosophy of science for guidance in the solution of problemsrelating to science curriculum. Apart from philosophy of science being generally relevant to science education,the new philosophy of science is particularly relevant at this time in science education.One main reason for this is that the new philosophy of science is the modern challengerof logical empiricism-the dominant doctrine in the philosophy of science. The "new"philosophy of science could provide the guiding principle in redirecting the course ofscience education curriculum.Values have to do with human persons, with men and women. As such, values areconcerned with the "only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake, and forwhom God has his plan, that is, a share in eternal salvation."1 This "does not meandealing with man in the abstract, but with real, `concrete, `historical man". They are theconcern of each and every man and woman as persons, and of the human societies whichthey create and constitute.2 Vatican II popularized the traditional Christian principle that"only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. Christ,the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fullyreveals man to himself and brings light to his most high calling."3
  4. 4. The Christian view of man/woman, therefore, is a major chapter in theology and religiouseducation. In fact before the advent of the social and behavioral sciences, human valuesand virtues generally were considered to be more or less the exclusive domain ofliterature, philosophy, and theology. With the great expansion of the "human sciences,"this monopoly has been decisively broken. But the new problematic has made itimperative to re-assert the necessary and legitimate role of theology in understanding,evaluating, and developing authentic human values. In terms of Filipino culture andvalues, it is all the more imperative to consider values and values education in directrelation to Christian Faith and faith education.This brief essay will offer first a short survey of pertinent recent work on values andvalues education, in order to introduce, secondly, certain basic dimensions of the place ofvalues in contemporary theology and religious education. Finally, it will conclude with atheological critique of this new value approach.VALUES AND VALUE EDUCATIONSocial scientists like to situate "values" in relation to a number of allied concepts.Behavior is taken to refer to specific, observable actions; attitudes refer to favorable orunfavorable dispositions toward certain objects or situations; belief systems are overallframes of reference or world views composed of certain assumptions made aboutourselves, others, the world, and the like. In this context, values are enduring preferencesfor certain modes of conduct (e.g., honesty) or life-situations (e.g., inner peace). Theyusually cluster to form a values system in which particular values are ordered accordingto a certain priority of importance.4 The important thing for the social scientist is thatvalues are learned--they do not come "pre-packaged" in the new-born babe.The simplest description of value is "a reality insofar as it is prized by a person."5 Threecomponents are implied: 1) the nature of the reality prized; 2) the aspect of the reality thatmakes it to be the "prized"; and 3) the extent to which the prized aspect is internalizedand affects the person. The first component is the objective base of the value; the secondis the subjective appreciation of that base, and the third is the variable effect in theprizing/valuing subject. From a theological perspective, what a value approach does,then, is to bring together the traditional idea of objective good with the modern stress onthe personal subject who values that good and is being formed and changed in the valuingprocess.The new stress upon the subject implied by the developing attention to values ischaracteristic of contemporary trends in theology and religious education. This is spelledout in greater detail in the seven-point description of value used by Sidney Simon andcollaborators. The seven points can be conveniently grouped under three headings:Choosing: 1) freely; 2) from among alternatives; 3) after considering the consequences ofeach alternative;Prizing: 4) cherished and pleased with; 5) publicly affirmed; and
  5. 5. Acting on: 6) carrying it into action; 7) repeatedly, with some consistency. 6The direct relevance of this threefold sketch of value to theology can be seen bycomparing it to Vatican IIs similar three-fold description of the "sense of faith" of thepeople of God, the Church. After describing how "this appreciation of the faith is arousedand sustained by the Spirit of truth," the Council asserts that the believer:adheres (clings) to this faith;penetrates it more deeply with right judgment; andapplies it more fully in daily life."7Thus there is solid ground for relating--without in any way identifying--values educationto faith education.Values Education and DevelopmentThe serious pursuit of values education has contributed significantly to the detailed studyof personal development. Taken theologically, this corresponds to the complex process ofconversion and personal salvation. The social sciences have done much to delineate basicdimensions of the human drive for self-transcendence: the affective dimension exploredby Eriksons eight psycho-social stages; the cognitive dimension developed in Piagetsgenetic epistemology, and the moral dimension exemplified in Kohlbergs six stages ofmoral reasoning.8 Fowler has had some success in working out a comparable process of ageneralized faith development.9 However, the self-transcendence indicative of ChristianFaith goes far beyond that conceived and studied in the social and behavioral sciences.The difference can be pictured in terms of three "dreams": 1) our individual ideal; 2) ourcommunitys dreams; and 3) the Christian image of the kingdom of God.10Nevertheless, certain insights regarding personality typology have proved helpful increating a more holistic catechesis and education in the faith. Carl Jungs work presentsfour major functions--two distinct ways of perceiving: sensing and intuiting; and twodistinct ways of judging: feeling and thinking. These form the basis of a four-fold view ofthe person and personal functions: the analyzer and the personalizer in judging, and thepragmatist and the visionary in perceiving. (Figure 1) This is further developed in termsof historical growth by using Brian Halls sketch of four phases of consciousness. Eachphase is described in terms of three factors: 1) how the world is perceived; 2) how theindividual perceives himself; and 3) what human needs the self seeks to satisfy. (Figure2) When related to stages of value development, these phases of consciousness aresignificant for understanding and communicating Gods Word and the Gospel values.VALUES IN CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGY ANDRELIGIOUS EDUCATION
  6. 6. Theology conceived as "faith seeking understanding" has always been concerned with thehuman persons ultimate values. As stressing "thinking faith," theology seeks that truthwhich transforms--a type of "loving knowledge" that brings authentic liberatingsalvation. As such, there is great value in theologizing for the individual believer as wellas for the community of believers, the Church. But rather than treat the value oftheologizing itself, this essay concentrates on the theology of values, that is, whattheology and religious education have to say about values.