Nature of scientific knowledge
'One important goal of science education is to help students understand the nature of the scientific enterprise itself. We review data from several sources, indicating that middle school and high school students have a common sense el epistemology of science at variance with the constructivist epistemology we advocate as the appropriate curricular goal. We sketch the student episte mology and discuss two attempts to induce changes in it through science education.
One important curricular goal of science education is to help students understand the nature of the scientific enterprise itself. This goal is important for several reasons. First of all, students can master only a small fraction of scientific knowledge in the course of their schooling, but as citizens they must adopt positions on public issues that turn on controver sial points. Hence, the successful science curriculum will have fed an interest in science that underlies lifelong learning, a valuing of the kind of knowledge that is acquired through a process of careful experimentation and argument, as well as a critical attitude toward the pronouncements of experts. Involving students in the process of doing science and talking with them explicitly about its nature are thought to be central to cultivating these interests, values, and attitudes.'