An ecology of science education

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Science Education, 2002, 24 (1), pp. 27 - 46
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This article reports on a 15 month study of attempted innovation in school science. The teachers in an Australian secondary school were attempting to introduce a constructivist approach to their teaching of science. The change attempt is interpreted through analogical transfer. In this method of analysis, the school science system is mapped against an ecosystem. That is, the science education system is conceptualized as an ecosystem; a self-sustaining, homeostatic, yet evolving, system of interacting influences. This ecological view of science education provides a way of interpreting the findings of this case study by using biological features of ecosystems, such as succession, evolution, selection and adaptation, to explain stagnation, degradation and change in school science. Implications of this interpretation of school science are considered including a proposed mechanism to promote innovation, such as a constructivist approach, through successive stages and the production and communication of knowledge.
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