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Understanding the Heterogeneous Nature of Science: A Comprehensive Notion of PCK for Scientific Literacy

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ABSTRACT

This paper is concerned with the conceptualization of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching about the nature of science. In contrast to the view that science teachers need to develop a specific “PCK for nature of science,” an alternative, more comprehensive notion of PCK for science teaching is suggested. The point of departure for the development of this notion is Shulman's original conceptualization of PCK that is rooted in Schwab's views of science. With respect to the aim of science teaching to enhance scientific literacy, this approach may offer science teachers an appropriate way to portray and reflect on the diversity of scientific practices within their teaching. In addition, the different interpretations of the “nature of science” and “inquiry” that both feature prominently in Schwab's work and in contemporary discussions of the nature of science are discussed.

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