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Considering liberal and humanistic values in science education curriculum
Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
2008 (English)In: Problems of Education in the 21st Century, Vol.3, 2008, 2008Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines current changes in the value-base of science education curricula. One of the theoretical instruments used to describe values in science education is the notion of “curriculum emphases” developed by Roberts (1982). The evolution of values in school subjects goes hand in hand with general value-shifts in society that Bauman (2000) describes as ‘liquid modernity’ and ‘liquid life’. Kress (2000) argues that whereas the previous era required an education for stability, the coming era requires an education for fluidity and instability. Similar arguments for the “appreciation of irreducible uncertainty and multiple perspectives” in science education are also proposed by Gray and Bryce (2006). The present paper suggests a conceptual framework for considering curricular values in science education and describes currently shifting priorities in curricular values towards more ‘light’ and ‘soft’ science education. It is also argued that the democratic science education curriculum should provide space for students to pursue liberal education values as well as humanistic values. This also poses new challenges for science teacher education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
uncertainty, complementarity, curriculum emphases, methodological principles
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10342OAI: diva2:150013
Available from: 2008-08-14 Created: 2008-08-14Bibliographically approved

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