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Imagining the World: The Significance of Religious Worldviews for Science Education

Reiss, Michael (2009) Imagining the World: The Significance of Religious Worldviews for Science Education. Science and Education, 18 (6-7). pp. 783-796. ISSN 0926-7220. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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This paper begins by examining whether ‘science’ and ‘religion’ can better be seen as distinct or related worldviews, focusing particularly on scientific and religious understandings of biodiversity. I then explore how people can see the natural world, depending on their worldview, by looking at two contrasting treatments of penguin behaviour, namely that provided in the film March of the Penguins and in the children’s book And Tango Makes Three. I end by drawing some initial conclusions as to what might and what might not be included about religion in school science lessons. Science educators and teachers need to take account of religious worldviews if some students are better to understand the compass of scientific thinking and some of science’s key conclusions. It is perfectly possible for a science teacher to be respectful of the worldviews that students occupy, even if these are scientifically limited, while clearly and non-apologetically helping them to understand the scientific worldview on a particular issue.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper attempts to provide a new way of understanding why certain students are so resistant to accepting parts of the standard scientific account of the world. By using a framework of 'worldviews' rather than the standard one of 'misconceptions' it proposes a new pedagogical approach. The argument is underpinned by analysis of the reception of a successful documentary 'March of the Penguins' and a controversial children's book 'And Tango Makes Three'. The original publication is available at
Controlled Keywords: Science , Science education , Religion , Worldviews , Creationism , Intelligent design , Penguins
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2010 09:21
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:47
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