Epistemological undercurrents in scientists' reporting of research to teachers

George E. Glasson, Michael L. Bentley
2000 Science Education  
Our investigation focused upon how scientists, from both a practical and epistemological perspective, communicated the nature and relevance of their research to classroom teachers. Six scientists were observed during presentations of "cutting edge" research at a conference for science teachers. Following the conference, these scientists were interviewed to discern how each perceived the nature of science, technology, and society in relation to his particular research. Data were analyzed to
more » ... mine the congruence and/or dissimilarity in how scientists described their research to teachers and how they viewed their research epistemologically. We found that a wide array of scientific methodologies and research protocols were presented and that all the scientists expressed links between their research and science-technology-society issues. When describing their research during interviews, the scientists from traditional content disciplines reflected a strong commitment to empiricism and experimental design, while engineers from applied sciences were more focused on problem solving. Implicit in the data was a commitment to objectivity and the tacit assumption that science may be free of values and ethical assumptions. More dialogue is recommended between the scientific community, science educators, and historians/philosophers of science about the nature-of-science, STS, and curriculum issues.
doi:10.1002/1098-237x(200007)84:4<469::aid-sce3>3.0.co;2-q fatcat:upqgb322p5daxozfjyplj46oby