The Cultural Contribution of Science Education

  • Michael R. Matthews
Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)


Feng shui makes claims about the constitution and processes of the natural world, including causal influences on people’s physical and mental health, that are in opposition to established scientific knowledge. These claims should be scientifically examined. Since the eighteenth century Enlightenment, science, and science-informed technology have been seen as fundamental for the material and cultural improvement of society. The former assuredly do not guarantee the latter, but they can and do contribute an enormous amount to their realization. Usefully the history and philosophy of science (HPS) can illuminate pedagogical, curricular, and theoretical issues in science education. Despite enormous investments in modern education, there is persistent evidence that unscientific, antiscientific, and pseudoscientific beliefs and worldviews are as common as they ever were. It is educationally and culturally irresponsible to leave all such antiscientific or unwarranted beliefs unexamined. Feng shui warrants the attention of educators because of its deep cultural roots, its significant personal and social impact, and its propensity to accustom people to believe in things about the world for which there is no compelling evidence. Appraisal of feng shui in classrooms requires explication of a number of core issues in philosophy and in science education.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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