Innovative character of the project

Research and general observation show that school science lacks the vitality of investigation, discovery, and creative invention that often accompanies science in the making. Therefore, the relationship between science and science education needs to be altered and improved. The need for modification is further reinforced by the research findings of the ineffectiveness of the conceptual approach, which emphasizes only the cognitive dimension of the process of knowledge acquisition, ignoring the imagination. To improve science education fundamentally, we propose that the academic tradition of primary and secondary science education be subordinated to a humanistic rendering of the science discipline as a means to engage the learners meaningfully (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990; UNESCO, 2000). According to AAAS (1989), science education should foster an awareness of the impact of scientific and technological developments on human beliefs and feelings. Some writers maintain that the humanizing and clarifying influence of history of science brings the science to life and enables the student to construct relationships that cannot be perceived with the traditional method of science teaching (Cohen, 1993/1950; Jung, 1994; Kipnis, 1996; Koul & Dana, 1997).

According to NRC (1996), students should learn about issues such as what constitutes science, the limitations of science, the contribution of science to culture, the interrelatedness of science and technology, an understanding the nature of science, the scientific enterprise, and the role of science in society and personal life. These philosophical and historical issues indicate the need for the inclusion of history and philosophy of science in science curriculum. Through such a teaching approach, students come to appreciate science as a value laden activity, where objectivity, curiosity, the pursuit of truth, intellectual honesty, humility, and commitment to human welfare are central (Stevenson & Byerly, 2000). For students to appreciate the reasons for the opposition to new ideas in science requires that they be exposed to the worldviews and their interactive role in science (Matthews, 2009).

Our project offers an integrated Science Teaching Model, firmly rooted in the epistemology of science, which can help teachers and advisors to convey the nature of science accurately and thereby improve the attitudes of the students toward science and scientific literacy. The most innovative elements in our project are web based. It offers a state of the art website, featuring in service training content and classroom applications, such as stories narrated by specialists and distance learning lessons for using the storytelling strategy. Local and regional in service training courses, for example, on the art of narration, conducted by science advisors, would provide additional support. The partners of the project could use Twitter and Facebook in their communication with teachers.

References

  • AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). (1990). Science for All Americans. Project 2061. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cohen I. B. (1993). A sense of history in science. Science & Education, 2(3), 251–277 [1950, American Journal of Physics, 18, 343-359].
  • Jung W. (1994). Toward preparing students for change: A critical discussion of the contribution of the history of physics in physics teaching. Science & Education 3: 99–130.
  • Klassen, S. (2006). The application of historical narrative in science learning: The Atlantic Cable story. Science & Education, 16, 335–352.
  • Koul R., Dana R. (1997) Contextualized science for teaching science and technology. Interchange 28(2-3): 121–144.
  • Kipnis N. (1996) The ‘historical-investigative’ approach to teaching science. Science & Education 5: 271–292.
  • McComas, W. C. (2008). Seeking historical examples to illustrate key aspects of the nature of science. Science & Education, 17, 1249–1263.
  • Metz, D., Klassen, S., Mcmillan, N., Clough, M., & Olson, J. (2007). Building a foundation for the use of historical narratives. Science & Education, 16, 313–334.
  • National Research Council. (1996). National Science Education Standards. National Committee for Science Education Standards and Assessment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • Stevenson L., Byerly H. (2000) The many faces of science. An introduction to scientists, values, and society. Westview, Boulder, CO.
  • UNESCO. (2000). Report of the world conference on science: Framework for action science sector. Paris: UNESCO.