How history of science informs individual development of scientific reasoning and supports a reflective perspective thereon

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Per Kind, at our October workshop, put forward the idea that informative parallels can be drawn between the development of science-knowledge across chronological time, i.e. the history of science, and the development of scientific reasoning within the individual, across developmental time. This opens up an indirect way of how studying Grosseteste and his time can help us improve science teaching: by analysing the succession of methods and processes that have characterised science across the centuries, maybe we can learn about how scientific reasoning develops across childhood and adolescence and about the factors that drive this development. In this way, the Grosseteste project could make important theoretical contributions to our models of how reasoning skills develop. From these models, we could then infer which specific cognitive caveats need to be tackled at different stages of the learning process, and this would have general implications for how we teach science across different age groups. Continue reading

Workshop 2: Medieval Science and the Modern Curriculum: Part 3c ADVANCED SECONDARY

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Ulrike, Per, Kathy and Andrew Powney

Our third and final group, took what appeared to be a slightly different approach to the other two, but one that ended up with a great deal of continuity with the others. Led by Per, the group involved Andrew Powney from Ampleforth College, Steven Burdon from St Bede’s Lanchester, and Mark Robson from St Robert of Newminster, Washington, as well as Tom McLeish, Richard Bower, Devin O’Leary, Kathy Bader (Durham medievalists) and Ulrike Nowak (Philosophy and Psychology, University of Oxford). Starting with the notion of collaborative reading of Grosseteste’s texts, the group thought hard about how they, in their conceptual integrity might be best deployed in the classroom. Andrew and Mark both teach religious studies, Steven teaches Science, and together with the Durham and Oxford contributors the group made considerable headway into the ways in which the activities might be carried out. Continue reading

The educational strand – ideas from the student perspective

When I first read about the idea of linking the Ordered Universe Project to education, I was fascinated by the parallel drawn between knowledge development across time, within the individual on the one hand and in the history of science on the other. It seems to me to be an intriguing suggestion that there may be some overlap between the conceptual caveats that in medieval times hindered (what we now believe to be) accurate understanding and those that make scientific reasoning difficult for children and teenagers. Within the group of students taking part in the FIDEM congress, we have thought a lot about what benefits the Ordered Universe Project could bring to pupil and student learning. This is because we are still very much at the recipient end of the knowledge spectrum, and for some of us school education is still very recent. Continue reading