Science Teaching argues that science teaching and science teacher education can be improved if teachers know something of the history and philosophy of science and if these topics are included in the science curriculum. The history and philosophy of science have important roles in many of the theoretical issues that science educators need to address: what constitutes an appropriate science curriculum for all students; how science should be taught in traditional cultures; how scientific literacy can be promoted; and the conflict which can occur between science curriculum and deep-seated religious or cultural values and knowledge. Outlining the history of liberal approaches to the teaching of science, Michael Matthews elaborates contemporary curriculum developments that explicitly address questions about the nature and the history of science. He provides examples of classroom teaching and develops useful arguments on constructivism, multicultural science education and teacher education.
Michael R. Matthews is at the School of Education Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.