Scientific Worldviews: A Case Study of Four High School Science Teachers

William W. Cobern, Ph.D. , Cathleen C. Loving, Ph.D.


In this research the ideas about Nature held by four high school science teachers are used to illuminate how any abstract notion of a scientific worldview does not adequately describe the perspectives of scientifically knowledgeable individuals, such as competent secondary school science teachers. The abstract notion of a scientific worldview is a distortion of the cognitive frameworks held by scientifically knowledgeable people in that the abstraction ignores the broader milieu of a person's ideas, beliefs, and commit-ments. To the extent that the inculcation of a scientific worldview is a proper goal of science education, therefore, our argument is that effective science education will help students develop an understanding of science within broader cultural contexts that include both those who do science and the students themselves. Moreover, science teachers must recognize the cultural embeddedness of their own scientific perspectives.


Science; Education; Worldviews; Teachers

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