New perspectives on teaching science in modern society

29 March 2011

Join our Sir Zelman Cowen Visiting Professor, Igal Galili, as he presents: "The History and philosophy of science and the discipline-culture based science curriculum: A novel perspective."

When: 4:30-5:30pm (join us from 4pm for refreshments) - 29 March 2011
Where: New Law School Annexe Seminar Room 342

Description: Science subject matter is usually based on the disciplinary tradition and often presents various disciplines as harmonious components of one all inclusive theory. This view is deconstructed within our effort to see the subject matter of science as a culture, in a specific sense which emphasizes the discursive nature of science. This perspective implies reconsidering the structure of the science curriculum for teaching science.

The central feature of novelty is the triadic structure of contents: nuclear-body-periphery. Nucleus includes foundations (of the subject matter and the method), body comprises the application of the ideas of the nucleus and the periphery includes the alternative ideas to those in the nucleus. It is the periphery that upgrades a discipline to a discipline-culture. This structure provides the role of necessary components to certain concepts hitherto identified solely with the history and philosophy of nature and escaped the programs of prospective teachers of science. This framework will be applied predominantly to physics. The considered structure of the subject matter also suggests a way to visualize the conceptual change taking place in learning science as well as changes in teaching strategy.

Students' misconceptions in learning science also find their location in this knowledge structure. Given the subject matter contents arranged culturally, a new typology of science students can be suggested. It rejects the "good-bad" dichotomy of students and introduces a richer and a more contemporary understanding of science education. Basing on the said, I will advocate for the novel approach to teaching science as more appropriate and efficient for modern society.

About Igal Galili

Professor Igal Galili is a professor of science education and the head of the Science teaching department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Educated in physics, he turned to the area of education where his research addresses students' knowledge of science and its structure (scheme-facets). A special framework of discipline- culture was developed to represent the knowledge. The framework was used to explain students' conceptual change, the structure of science curriculum, as well as the dynamics of scientific revolutions. It was also shown that contents from the philosophy of science imply changes in teaching curriculum. To support regular teaching of science by contents from the history and philosophy of science a special genre of excurse was developed within the European project HIPST (2008-2010)

Photo credits: dubes at stock.xchng

Time: 4:30-5:30pm (join us from 4pm for refreshments)

Location: New Law School Annexe Seminar Room 342

Cost: Free