WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor (Emeritus), Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Procedural Education

WebLinks for
NoST Education

Welcome! This page provides links to resources relating to the nature of science & technology and, as well, to pedagogical approaches for helping students to develop more realistic conceptions about the nature of science & technology. Please note, however, that resources for these two sections often overlap. General perspectives and practices in this area are provided @ NoST Education, which is one of three major components of Procedural Education. 'Procedural Education, in turn, is one of two major aspects of science & technology (S&T) education for which I have developed a constructivism-informed pedagogical framework. If you have comments, questions, suggestions, resources ideas, etc. about anything here, please write to me about them.

NoST Pedagogy.

Nature of Science & Technology
It is widely claimed that students need to gain access to current ideas and views of the nature of products and practices of science and technology (NoST). In other words, rather than just knowing what conclusions and inventions have been developed and how to explain them, students should have some insights into how such knowledge was generated, what problems scientists and technolgists encounter when developing that knowledge, and what possible negative, as well as positive, effects science annd technology may have on individuals, societies and environments. Armed with this sort of awareness, students - as future citizens - will be more able to judge knowledge claims made by others (including those who control production of goods and services using science and technology) and, as well, more able to produce knowledge themselves, in order to solve problems meeting their needs, interests, abilities and perspectives. Moreover, it is hoped that citizens will be armed to take action towards ensuring a just distribution of opportunities, as well as responsibilities.Educators wanting to teach students about the nature of science and technology (NoST) clearly need to be well-educated in this regard. This is not particularly straightforward, however. A major problem is that there are various - often conflicting - views about NoST. Educators should, likely, become aware of many of these views. They also have to decide which of them they will promote in their teaching. Studies suggest that teachers tend to promote views that match their own. However, some theorists suggest that it may be most democratic for educators to equally represent a spectrum of views about NoST and then let their students decide for themselves which views seem most reasonable to them. For an elaboration of my position on this matter, refer here: NoST Ed. Other sources of views about this are available through the links below:
History of Science & Technology
Any history is someone's story about the past. However, just like science itself, we generally have to presume that consensual knowledge is what we mean by accepted historical knowledge. With that in mind, educators can learn much from histories of science.

Nature of Science & Technology
Most the sites linked below provide summaries of research in the history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology.

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NoST Teaching & Learning
There are various approaches to helping students to develop realistic conceptions about the nature of science and technology. I have deal with many of these ideas @ NoSTEd. Access to others' ideas and approaches for NoST pedagogy is provided below.
Historical Approaches
Many educators prefer to use historical approaches for NoST education. Frequently, this involves having students read refereed accounts of development of scientific and/or technological achievements. Links to sites relating to some of these are provided below:

Various NoST Education Approaches
The links below take you to sites where various approaches to NoST education are provided:

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