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Epistemological and educational issues in teaching practice-oriented scientific research: Roles for philosophers of science

Boon, Mieke and Orozco, Mariana and Sivakumar, Kishore (2022) Epistemological and educational issues in teaching practice-oriented scientific research: Roles for philosophers of science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The complex societal challenges of the 21st Century require scientific researchers and academically educated professionals capable of conducting scientific research in complex problem contexts. Our central claim is that educational approaches inspired by a traditional empiricist epistemology insufficiently foster the required deep conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking skills necessary for epistemic tasks in scientific research. Conversely, we argue that constructivist epistemologies (developed in the philosophy of science in practice) provide better guidance to educational approaches to promote research skills. We also argue that teachers adopting a constructivist learning theory do not necessarily embrace a constructivist epistemology. On the contrary, in educational practice, novel educational approaches that adopt constructivist learning theories (e.g., project-based learning, PjBL) often maintain traditional empiricist epistemologies. Philosophers of science can help develop educational designs focused on learning to conduct scientific research, combining constructivist learning theory with constructivist epistemology.
We illustrate this by an example from a bachelor's program in Biomedical Engineering, where we introduce conceptual models and modeling as an alternative to the traditional focus on hypothesis testing in conducting scientific research. This educational approach includes the so-called B&K method for (re-)constructing scientific models to scaffold teaching and learning conceptual modeling.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Boon, Miekem.boon@utwente.nl0000-0003-2492-2854
Orozco, Marianam.orozco@utwente.nl
Sivakumar, Kishorek.sivakumar@utwente.nl
Keywords: Scientific research practices; Philosophy of science in practice; Constructivist epistemologies; Constructivist learning theories; Conceptual modeling; Higher-order thinking skills; Scientific thinking; Educational sciences; Philosophical vocabulary
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Engineering
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Prof.dr.ir Mieke Boon
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 05:24
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 05:24
Item ID: 20120
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Engineering
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 16 January 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20120

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