Scientific Worldviews: A Case Study of Four High School Science Teachers

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Science education researchers have been interested in a number of factors regarding science teachers. They want to know about gender and race factors, preservice education experiences, achievement in a science major, or teacher views on the nature of science. In the past, these researchers have tended not to think of teachers as cultural beings though this is certainly changing in the way that it has become common to think of students as cultural beings and hence to inquire into the influence of student culture on the learning of science. As humans, science teachers are of course cultural beings; and just like their students, they bring a worldview to the classroom. But surely science teachers bring the scientific worldview to the science classroom? Rather than assuming that science teachers bring the scientific worldview to class, the purpose of this research is first to illuminate the enacted scientific worldviews of four typical high school science teachers. Second, we will argue that science teachers ought to show their enacted scientific worldviews in the science classroom as part of an ongoing classroom discourse promoting student understanding that science can be interpreted and made meaningful in various ways by various individuals, including the science teachers.


SLCSP Paper # 139b

Published Citation

Cobern, William W., and Cathleen C. Loving. "Scientific worldviews: A case study of four high school science teachers." Electronic Journal of Science Education 5.2 (2000).