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I am drawn to Nature because I see in Nature the handwork of God and I wonder what are our responsibilities as stewards of Nature? Being of a scientific bent, I wonder how Nature works? I wonder how Nature came to be? In other words, my thoughts– my everyday thoughts– about Nature are rooted in deep, fundamental beliefs that I hold about my life and the world in which I live, that is, my worldview. Nature of course is the traditional domain in which the “natural” sciences operate, but how we understand science and Nature is rooted in our worldview. This essay is about using worldview theory as a framework for investigating people’s understanding and valuation of both science and Nature. Throughout I will draw upon the everyday comments made by younger and older students, teachers, and scientists about Nature and science. My purpose is to draw attention to the multiplicity of views amongst even those who share a common society. That multiplicity is the backdrop for whatever it is that one wishes to teach about science and Nature.


SLCSP Paper # 169

Later published as a book chapter in German text: M. Gebauer (editor), Understanding Nature. Leipzig, DR: University of Leipzig Press.

Published Citation

Cobern, W.W. (2005). Worldview, Science and the Understanding of Nature. Invited plenary paper, Annual meeting of the Swedish Association for Research in Science Education. Karlstadt, Sweden.