Connecting Inquiry and Values in Science Education: An Approach based on John Dewey’s Perspective

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Lee, Eun Ah; Brown, Matthew J.
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conference paper description
Science education owes a lot to John Dewey’s ideas of how science should be viewed and what science education should do. In this study, we explore how to help students use inquiry in decision-making based on John Dewey’s perspective. Science education aims for citizens to be scientifically literate, so that they can make informed-decisions in science-related issues. Conducting scientific inquiry is expected to help students make informed decisions, however, it is not clear how scientific inquiry can help decision-making in science education. Dewey suggested that scientific inquiry should include a good value judgment, and conducting the inquiry can improve the ability of value judgment. Decision-making requires value judgment, therefore Dewey’s ideas can explain how conducting inquiry can contribute to make an informed decision through value judgment. According to Dewey, each value judgment during the inquiry is a practical judgment guiding an action and involved values are represented in the consequences of the action. Thus, students can evaluate their value judgments by evaluating their actions during the scientific inquiry. Values in science have been mentioned in science education standards, but the relationship between values and inquiry has not been much explained. Based on Dewey’s perspective, we explained how to connect inquiry and values and how this connection can contribute to make informed decisions.