New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Underlying Frameworks in Academic Education

Edwin Koster, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands)


Critical reflection on science should be a core activity of the university. Due to fundamental changes in the way science is practiced, questions about the goal of the university have become increasingly intrusive in recent decades. Increased economies of scale, private funding, publication pressure, valorization, strategic behavior, patenting and the influence of politics and industry on research and education have given science a different face. Science, technology, economy, politics and society have become increasingly open to each other. That is why it has become more and more necessary to ask fundamental questions. Which assumptions and which interests rule scientific research? Does science have certain ethical consequences and what is actually the social effect of the application of scientific knowledge? The starting point of this paper is that critical reflection on science does not only play a role in discussions about the personal formation of students, but is essential for scholarly practice. That is why academic education should make room for systematic reflection on 'underlying frameworks' of scientific practice. This paper makes it plausible that underlying frameworks play a role in all scientific disciplines. In addition, a way of teaching is designed that fits in with reflection on these underlying frameworks: 'Effective Reflective Education'. An example is given of a course that has been developed according to this principle.

Keywords: Academic education, underlying frameworks, critical reflection;

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