David L. Hildebrand, Ph.D., Philosophy

Article Addressing Controversies in Science Education

"Addressing Controversies in Science Education: a Pragmatic Approach to Evolution Education" (with John Capps and Kim Bilica). Science and Education (December 2006). Science education controversies typically prove more intractable than those in scientific research because they involve a wider range of considerations (e.g., epistemic, social, ethical, political, and religious). How can educators acknowledge central issues in a controversy (such as evolution)? How can such problems be addressed in a way that is ethically sensitive and intellectually responsible? Drawing in part on pragmatic philosopher John Dewey, our solution is politically proactive, philosophically pragmatic, and grounded in research. Central to our proposal is (1) steps toward creating a philosophical “total attitude” that is democratic, imaginative, and hypothetical; (2) a deeper understanding of how scientific theories can be pragmatically true; and (3) an assessment of differing pedagogical approaches for teaching evolution in the classroom.


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