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ABS259 - Potential activity: On the nature of scientific knowledge and human development in science education

3.9 Other topics related to Theme 3
4:30 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
There has been throughout the last decades different movements within Science Education. One particular movement, which can be called "Science as Human Activity" aims to overcome conceptions about science as value-free and detached from particular contexts of production; and that scientific knowledge is absolute and ahistorical. Within this perspective, there are two predominant trends: one that introduces social relations into scientific agenda but keeps untouched the core of scientific production; and the other that transforms Science into pure discursive consensus among researchers.

On the other hand, Vygotskian approach has been bringing considerable contributions to understand educational phenomena within Science Education field. We argue, however, that these contributions are mainly focused in analyzing science classrooms and/or proposing new forms of activities, giving little attention to questions about the nature of scientific knowledge and its significance to human development.

In this sense, we draw on a theoretical perspective we call Potential Activity (in tune with Vygotsky, Leontiev, Freire, and Stetsenko, who brings contributions to overcome ontological breaks between human activity – which includes knowing, transforming the reality, and becoming human and an outside reality – whose core is essentially ahistorical) to understand the problematic nature of the reality and its role as driven-force of scientific and human development.

Within this perspective we seek to bring an alternative to those predominant trends, illustrating how human development (and science development as part of it) is an integral process by which humans make up themselves transforming the reality, i.e. through/and in the reality actively.

Federal University of Santa Catarina
University of São Paulo
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