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A framework for teaching epistemic insight in schools


Billingsley, B and Nassaji, M and Fraser, S and Lawson, F, A framework for teaching epistemic insight in schools, Research in Science Education, 48 pp. 1115-1131. ISSN 1573-1898 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author(s) 2018

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11165-018-9788-6


This paper gives the rationale and a draft outline for a framework for education to teach epistemic insight into schools in England. The motivation to research and propose a strategy to teach and assess epistemic insight followed research that investigated how students and teachers in primary and secondary schools respond to big questions about the nature of reality and human personhood. The research revealed that there are pressures in schools that dampen students’ expressed curiosity in these types of questions and limit their developing epistemic insight into how science, religion and the wider humanities relate. These findings prompted the construction of a framework for education for students aged 5–16 designed to encourage students’ expressed interest in big questions and develop their understanding of the ways that science interacts with other ways of knowing. The centrepiece of the framework is a sequence of learning objectives for epistemic insight, organised into three categories. The categories are, firstly, the nature of science in real world contexts and multidisciplinary arenas; secondly, ways of knowing and how they interact; and thirdly, the relationships between science and religion. Our current version of the Framework is constructed to respond to the way that teaching is organised in England. The key principles and many of the activities could be adopted and tailored to work in many other countries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:epistemic insight, framework for education, curriculum, sequence of learning, big questions, uncritical scientism
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:Fraser, S (Professor Sharon Fraser)
ID Code:134691
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-08-29
Last Modified:2021-10-01

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