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Sardonic science? The resistance to more humanistic forms of science education

Bryce, Thomas (2010) Sardonic science? The resistance to more humanistic forms of science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5 (3). pp. 591-612. ISSN 1871-1502

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Resistance to more humanistic forms of science education is an endemic and persistent feature of university scientists as well as school science teachers. This article argues that science education researchers should pay more attention to its origins and to the subtleties of its stubborn influence. The paper explores some of the imperatives which dominate the continuing practices of teachers; the linkages between school and university science; and re-considers the relationships between learning science, learning to do science and learning about science. It draws on recent, prominent publications, as well as neglected and rather more contentious material, to underline the unhelpfully narrow view of science held by those who defend the traditional disciplinary influences of biology, chemistry and physics. Suggestions are made as to where those of a more radical and determined disposition should direct their attention in the interests of improved education, vital scientific progress as well as human survival. It is argued that university science must change in order to ensure that teachers better help their students to learn, do and appreciate science.