Philosophically Correct Science Stories? Examining the Implications of Heroic Science Stories for School Science

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Abstract

Some people think that science is a set of facts that can be presented in plain and unadorned language. This fosters a belief that science has few stories. Actually, stories are very important in school science. In an examination of science textbooks, I have identified four different types of science stories which I call (a) heroic, (b) discovery, (c) declarative, and (d) politically correct. Each of these types of story promotes a particular set of philosophical assumptions about science. These assumptions are presented implicitly within the framework of the story as truths of science. This article specifically examines the philosophical assumptions that underpin heroic science stories and the implications of these stories in the discursive practices of the school science classroom. As teachers, we need to be critically aware of these assumptions, since they may be at odds with our beliefs about knowledge and our preferred teaching practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume35
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998

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Cite this

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abstract = "Some people think that science is a set of facts that can be presented in plain and unadorned language. This fosters a belief that science has few stories. Actually, stories are very important in school science. In an examination of science textbooks, I have identified four different types of science stories which I call (a) heroic, (b) discovery, (c) declarative, and (d) politically correct. Each of these types of story promotes a particular set of philosophical assumptions about science. These assumptions are presented implicitly within the framework of the story as truths of science. This article specifically examines the philosophical assumptions that underpin heroic science stories and the implications of these stories in the discursive practices of the school science classroom. As teachers, we need to be critically aware of these assumptions, since they may be at odds with our beliefs about knowledge and our preferred teaching practices.",
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AB - Some people think that science is a set of facts that can be presented in plain and unadorned language. This fosters a belief that science has few stories. Actually, stories are very important in school science. In an examination of science textbooks, I have identified four different types of science stories which I call (a) heroic, (b) discovery, (c) declarative, and (d) politically correct. Each of these types of story promotes a particular set of philosophical assumptions about science. These assumptions are presented implicitly within the framework of the story as truths of science. This article specifically examines the philosophical assumptions that underpin heroic science stories and the implications of these stories in the discursive practices of the school science classroom. As teachers, we need to be critically aware of these assumptions, since they may be at odds with our beliefs about knowledge and our preferred teaching practices.

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