Science & Education (forthcoming)

There are some crucial critiques on scientific inquiry and “the” Scientific Method in current science education. Recent research literature is replete with arguments against inquiry’s legitimacy to be included in science classes, and it has even been abandoned from the Next Generation Science Standards. Critics of scientific inquiry in schools blame it to be a caricature of authentic inquiry suffering from five shortcomings: knowledge becomes desocialized from its generative contexts, scientific inquiry in schools suggests methodological monism favoring a primacy of experimentation, which portrays scientific inquiry as a knowledge automaton raising an illusion of determination with regard to the generation of knowledge. This article argues for a reorientation of scientific inquiry in schools tentatively embracing “the” Scientific Method anew since critics appear not to sufficiently consider that scientific inquiry operates differently in schools from science. It will be shown that most critiques can be defused when untangling such an illegitimate mix-up of science proper with school science. It will be argued that current descriptions of how science generates knowledge lack authoritative validity and should be fundamentally revisited. “The” Scientific Method will be shown to be a valid idealization that can serve as a frame of reference for introductory science classes. Still, it is understood that science education needs to extend beyond “the” Scientific Method if it is to prepare for science-related careers.
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DOI 10.1007/s11191-021-00235-w
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
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