Towards a Refined Depiction of Nature of Science

Science & Education 28 (3-5):503-537 (2019)
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This study considers the short list of Nature of Science features frequently published and widely known in the science education discourse. It is argued that these features were oversimplified and a refinement of the claims may enrich or sometimes reverse them. The analysis shows the need to address the range of variation in each particular aspect of NOS and to illustrate these variations with actual events from the history of science in order to adequately present the subject. Another implication of the proposal is the highlighting of the central role of science educators who, facing various strong claims of researchers in education and philosophy of science, often have difficulty in making a choice of what to teach about NOS. It is suggested that a representative variation with regard to the traditional NOS claims may be appropriate for a genuine understanding of the subject. In that, using the discipline-culture structure of the fundamental theories of physics and addressing the plurality of scientific methods may be helpful in the actual teaching and learning of NOS.



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