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A Sociological Standpoint to Authentic Scientific Practices and its Role in School Science Teaching

Keywords: Authentic science , Scientific inquiry , Scientific literacy , Anthropology of science , Sociology of science , The nature of science

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In this paper we place an emphasis on authentic science practices grounded by anthropological and sociological lenses of science and discuss their implications for science teaching. We highlight the problem of typical science teaching as teaching merely about the “normal science” and ignoring the sociological characteristics of scientific practice. After briefly reviewing the sociological and anthropological perspectives of science, we propose including the social characteristics of science and the notion of communities of practice in designing science learning environments and considering them as essential components of the nature of science teaching practices. Next, we discuss the characteristics of authentic scientific practices as reported in recent studies and examine how researchers operationalized authentic science practices in their educational studies. Finally we suggest some implications for practice in augmenting students and teachers awareness about authentic science practices using the anthropological and sociological lenses.


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