Preparing Students for Competent Scientific Practice: Implications of Recent Research in Science and Technology Studies
M. K. McGinn 1999 Educational Researcher 28(3), 14-24

Current empirical research in science and technology studies provides new and different views of science and scientists that contrast markedly with the mythical views that underlie many curricular efforts geared toward increasing scientific literacy. If descriptions of science and scientists that emerge from science and technology studies are legitimate, considerable implications arise for educational aims guiding science instruction, learning experiences directed toward those educational aims, and resources that support those learning experiences and educational aims. In this paper, we (a) briefly review some of the diverse scholarship within science and technology studies, and (b) discuss associated curricular implications in terms of educational aims, learning experiences, and resources. These implications are directed toward a vision of scientific literacy as preparation for competent participation in scientific laboratories, activist movements, the judicial system, or other locations/communities where science is created and used. This vision implies a reformulation of what can be considered "authentic" science (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989) and provides a natural continuity from participating in science in schools to participating in science in professional practice or activist movements. We argue for science education as a starting point for trajectories of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in science-related discourses and practices.

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Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources, Journal Article
Special Interest: Process of Science