Date of Award
Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BSc/BTch (Hons)
ANZSRC / FoR Code
130309 Learning Sciences, 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
In the context of social and philosophical debates concerning the nature of science, this thesis provides an introductory investigation of the application of critical realism to science education. It moves beyond the current impasse within constructivist science education and, in particular, philosophical debates that fail to represent science education as a whole. The current dominance of anti-realist positions in science education is treated as problematic. This thesis explores selected current and potential uses of critical realism in an endeavour to move beyond the perceived inadequacies of constructivism as the current paradigm of science education. The approach used is one of philosophical reflection engaging with literature that addressed representative positions in science education concerning epistemology, critical realism, the nature of science, and constructivism.
A preliminary explanatory framework for science education is developed. Features of this critical realist framework include epistemic humility, judgmental rationality, recognition of the transitive and intransitive domains, a stratified ontology, and the distinction between open and closed systems. A central core of the framework is the insistence that epistemology models ontology. The framework provides a philosophy that reflects the working epistemology of practising scientists and provides a robust stratified ontology. The framework also possesses greater theoretical and explanatory power than that of constructivism.
Jackson, C. D. (2005). Beyond constructivism: An introduction to critical realism in science education (Bachelor's thesis, Avondale College, Cooranbong, Australia). Retrieved from https://research.avondale.edu.au/theses_bachelor_honours/26/