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Education Theory Reading Network

A platform for discussion centered around issues in education theory

Event details

At this meeting it was agreed to continue reading about Brandom’s inferentialism – this time about how it has been applied to science education.

Edward Causton (2019) Bringing Inferentialism to Science Education. Science & Education 28:25–43,

In this article, I introduce Robert Brandom’s inferentialism as an alternative to common representational interpretations of constructivism in science education. By turning our attention
away from the representational role of conceptual contents and toward the norms governing their use in inferences, we may interpret knowledge as a capacity to engage in a particular form
of social activity, the game of giving and asking for reasons. This capacity is not readily reduced to a diagrammatic structure defining the knowledge to be acquired. By considering the
application of these ideas to the concept of electrical current and the use of analogies in science education, I hope to illustrate how they may be given practical employment as the child comes
to explore within the concepts derived from historical scientific endeavours and not merely meander through her individual experiences of scientific phenomena themselves. In moving
away from the representational role of analogy, our focus shifts from the quality of the analogy itself toward the quality of the discourse utilising the analogy.