Things you should not believe in science

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Taber, KS 

ABSTRACT This article considers the relationship between belief and learning science. It is argued that belief in science (as a process) needs to be distinguished from belief in particular scienti c ideas and knowledge claims. Scienti c knowledge is theoretical and provisional – something to be adopted for its utility, not as articles of faith. The scienti c attitude is to always be sceptical and retain a critical attitude to what we think we know. Belief in scienti c knowledge is not only inappropriate in terms of scienti c values, but can also be unhelpful from an educational perspective. The science teacher should actually encourage students not to believe in the various theories, models and other products of scienti c work presented in class. This approach can avoid con icts with students’ personal beliefs, support scienti c literacy, and better prepare future scientists.

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School Science Review
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Association for Science Education
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