Guest Editorial: Physics or stamp collecting? Pitfalls of the hierarchy of disciplinesby: Tom Fletcher and Erica M. Brownstein

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In science and in academia, there is often a de facto hierarchy of disciplines with the so-called “hard” sciences (physics, chemistry) at the top, and the “soft” sciences (psychology, sociology) at the bottom (Tudge 2001; Feynman 1988). As science educators, we may find ourselves consciously or unconsciously communicating this to our students, sending messages that certain scientific disciplines are more difficult or more important than others. In doing so, we may unconsciously be erecting barriers to some of our students and interfering with our goal of scientific literacy for all.

Grades
  • Middle
Publication Date
11/1/2009

Community ActivitySaved in 6 Libraries

Reviews (1)
  • on Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:36 AM

Science is not just biology, chemistry and physics. These are often called the ‘hard’ sciences. This sends a message to students that they might be things to avoid. The authors suggest that middle school teachers “we should treat the diversity of human thought, inquiry, and endeavor with the same respect and thoughtfulness with which we hope to treat other facets of diversity. “ The different science such as astrobiology and more are not just side shows for the fundamental hard sciences. This is an essential article for all middle school science teachers and should be a must read.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)


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