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Science & Education

, Volume 27, Issue 5–6, pp 435–455 | Cite as

The Nature of Scientific Practice and Science Education

Rationale of a Set of Essential Pedagogical Principles
  • Antonio García-CarmonaEmail author
  • José Antonio Acevedo-Díaz
Article

Abstract

There is, broadly speaking, an agreement within the international science education community that comprehension of the nature of science (NOS) should be a key element in the scientific literacy of citizens. During the last few decades, several didactic approaches have emerged concerning what and how to teach NOS. Also, one of the basic objectives of science education is for students to become familiar with the skills typical of scientific practice; however, there is little reference to their need to also acquire meta-knowledge about scientific practice (i.e., an understanding of the nature of scientific practice). Among other reasons, this may be due to NOS being essentially identified in most of the predominant proposals with the nature of scientific knowledge. But why not plan the teaching of science to be in tune with real scientific practice for students to learn about the nature of scientific practice at the same time as they are learning science? The answer to this question has given rise to a proposal grounded in ten essential pedagogical principles for the teaching and learning of science in secondary school. These are the principle of formulating questions, the principle of creativity and imagination, the principle of experimentation, the principle of procedural diversity, the principle of errors as opportunity, the principle of modeling, the principle of cooperation and teamwork, the principle of argumentation and discussion, the principle of communication, and the principle of evaluation. The purpose of this article is to present the justification and fundaments of these principles.

Keywords

Science education Nature of science Nature of scientific practice Pedagogical principles 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (Spain) under grant EDU2017-82505-P.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Didáctica de las Ciencias Experimentales y Sociales, Facultad de Ciencias de la EducaciónUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  2. 2.HuelvaSpain

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