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01-06-2015 | Forum | Issue 2/2015

Cultural Studies of Science Education 2/2015

A crisis of meaning: promoting new directions in science education

Journal:
Cultural Studies of Science Education > Issue 2/2015
Author:
David Heywood
Important notes
Lead Editor: C. Milne.
This review essay addresses Wolff-Michael Roth’s paper titled: Enracinement or The earth, the originary ark, does not move—on the phenomenological (historical and ontogenetic) origin of common and scientific sense and the genetic method of teaching (for) understanding.

Abstract

The polemic in science education of pupils being alienated, of the ideas that they encounter in science learning having little or no meaning because they do not resonate with their common sense experience, has been of concern for some considerable time in a science curriculum that privileges knowing over understanding. This is the context for the argument set out in: Enracinement or The earth, the originary ark, does not moveon the phenomenological (historical and ontogenetic) origin of common and scientific sense and the genetic method of teaching (for) understanding. At the core of the proposal is a call for a radical shift in pedagogy; finding more appropriate approaches to support learning in science that not only recognises, but proactively embraces learner experience of being in the world (quite literally earth bound) as the ‘fundamental condition for conceiving.’ The discussion sets out a theoretical rationale for a move to what is termed ‘the genetic method’ in science education predicated on Husserl’s contention that new understandings are only possible because they derive from a projection of grounded (literally in and of the earth, enracinement, i.e. rooting). In one sense, this implicitly challenges traditional orthodoxy in science education research in which (arguably) there is an implicit, however unintentionally, perceived deficit model of the learner typified in the use of terms such as misconception. In another, such a claim could appear overambitious and contentious. In an attempt to provide a balanced perspective, these tensions are explored through a focus on language in relation to the central hypothesis being offered.

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