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What place is there for the history of science in a science curriculum for citizenship?. Stein Dankert Kolstø 20. February 2001. Science curriculum for citizenship.

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what place is there for the history of science in a science curriculum for citizenship

What place is there for the history of science in a science curriculum for citizenship?

Stein Dankert Kolstø

20. February 2001

science curriculum for citizenship

Science curriculum for citizenship

“For most people, their contact with science is the many socio-scientific issues that confront them both as individuals and as members of society”

Millar, Osborne and Nott 1998

i will discuss

I will discuss

What role the history of science might play in a science curriculum aiming at empowering lay people to deal fruitfully with socio-scientific issues.

outline
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
outline1
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
outline2
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
outline3
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
millikan s oil drop experiment1
Millikan’s oil drop experiment

Øgrim, Ormestad, Lunde & Jerstad 1985

democritus
Democritus

Proclaimed that matter was composed of indestructible particles

individual droplets
Individual droplets

“[Seeing the droplet] moving upward with the smallest speed that it could take on, I could be certain that just one isolated electron was sitting on its back”

Millikan, 1951

droplets changing their motion
Droplets changing their motion

“I had seen a balanced drop suddenly catch an ion [from the surrounding air].”

Millikan, sited in Holton, 1978

from millikan s first paper
From Millikan’s first paper

Reproduced in Holton, 1978

from ehrenhaft s results
From Ehrenhaft’s results

Reproduced in Holton, 1978

ex millikan s evaluations
Ex. Millikan’s evaluations
  • “battery voltage dropped”
  • “stopwatch error occur”
  • “the distance must be kept more constant”
  • “e [calculated elementary charge] = 4.98 which means that this could not have been an oil drop.”

Sited in Holton, 1978

ex millikan s comments
Ex. Millikan’s comments
  • “Error high will not use.”
  • “Very low Something wrong”
  • “Exactly right”
  • “Publish this Beautiful one”
  • “Beauty. Publish this surely, beautiful!”

Sited in Holton, 1978

nobel price receivers in physics
Nobel price receivers in physics

Nernst, Einstein, Planck, Millikan and von Laue

outline4
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
places for the history of science
Places for the history of science

Teaching and learning about

•the nature of science

• cultural frameworks

• science-society-technology interactions

places for the history of science1
Places for the history of science

Teaching and learning about

the nature of science

• cultural frameworks

• science-society-technology interactions

the nature of science
The nature of science

“Clearly, many people believe that science is rather simple, at least in the sense that the rules are clear, and that if one follows them (which of course requires competence) the automatic result is valid, universal scientific knowledge.”

Millar and Wynne, 1988 p. 395

the nature of science1
The nature of science

Learning goals:

Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

Observations and theories are mutual dependent

Argumentation is an important part of science

Science makes use of a plurality of methods

the nature of science2
The nature of science

Learning goals:

 Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

Observations and theories are mutual dependent

Argumentation is an important part of science

Science makes use of a plurality of methods

the nature of science3
The nature of science

Learning goals:

Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

 Observations and theories are mutual dependent

Argumentation is an important part of science

Science makes use of a plurality of methods

the nature of science4
The nature of science

Learning goals:

Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

Observations and theories are mutual dependent

 Argumentation is an important part of science

Science makes use of a plurality of methods

the nature of science5
The nature of science

Learning goals:

Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

Observations and theories are mutual dependent

Argumentation is an important part of science

 Science makes use of a plurality of methods

the nature of science6
The nature of science

Learning goals:

Scientific concepts are constructed by humans

Observations and theories are mutual dependent

Argumentation is an important part of science

Science makes use of a plurality of methods

 No predefined method exists

science for citizenship
Science for citizenship

The nature of science and

The relevance of the identified learning goals

for a science curriculumforcitizenship

socio scientific issues
Socio-scientific issues

whether gene modified food involves a risk to human health or to nature

whether irradiated food have reduced nutritional value

whether the worlds change in climate is linked to human activities

science for citizenship1
Science for citizenship

The nature of science and

The idea of scientific facts implies that lay people have no right to doubt

Bauer, 1994

places for the history of science2
Places for the history of science

Teaching and learning about

•the nature of science

cultural frameworks

• science-society-technology interactions

cultural frameworks
Cultural frameworks

“To be ignorant of the works of Darwin involves an educational flaw at least as huge as not to know essential features of [the works of] Marx and Freud.”

Eriksen, 1997

cultural frameworks1
Cultural frameworks

Central cultural issues:

The relationship between competition and collaboration

Man’s free will

The idea that the world evolves

The relation between the individual, the art and the ecosystem.

Eriksen, 1997

cultural frameworks2
Cultural frameworks

“Science education should make much grater use of one of the world’s most powerful and pervasive ways of communicating ideas – the narrative form...”

Millar & Osborne, 1998 p. 13

places for the history of science3
Places for the history of science

Teaching and learning about

•the nature of science

• cultural frameworks

science-society-technology interactions

science society interactions
Science-society interactions

Should for instance scientists decide on what energy types Norway should use?

And does the surrounding culture and scientists personal philosophies influence the content of their discoveries?

And how might scientific research relate to interests and power?

science technology interactions
Science-technology interactions

Technology merely as applied science is simply wrong!

The development of the Diesel engine:

Diesel and his collaborators came up not with a Carnot machine, but as we all know, with a Diesel engine

outline5
Outline
  • Millikan’s oil drop experiment
  • Places for the history of science
  • Warning signs
  • Conclusion
warning signs
Warning signs

Which histories of science?

Choice of perspective

Picture of science

warning signs1
Warning signs

Which histories of science?

 Choice of perspective

Picture of science

choice of perspective
Choice of perspective

A superficial treatment of the history of science might easily result in “fictionalized idealisations”

Monk & Osborne, 1997 p. 406

warning signs2
Warning signs

Which histories of science?

Choice of perspective

 Picture of science

picture of science

Picture of science

the institutionalisation of natural philosophy in the seventeenth century

the professionalisation of science in the nineteenth century

the twentieth century gave us the socialisation and industrialisation of science

Aikenhead, 1994

picture of science1

Picture of science

“How much longer can 19th century school science masquerade as legitimate science?”

Aikenhead, 1994

conclusion
Conclusion

What place is there for the history of science

in a science curriculum for citizenship?

  • Illustration and depth
  • Careful selection needed
  • Balance with contemporary science