The Concept of Ideology in Analysis of Fundamental Questions in Science Education


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Abstract

The use of the concept of ‘ideology’ in interpretation of science education curricula, textbooks and various practises is reviewed, and examples are given by referring to Norwegian curricula and textbooks. The term is proposed to be used in a broad sense about any kind of action-oriented theory based on a system of ideas, or any attempt to approach politics in the light of a system of ideas. Politics in this context is about shaping of education, and is related to forces (i.e., hypothetical impacts of idea systems) which may legitimise, change, or criticise social practices. The focus is (although not in every case) on the hidden, unconscious and critical aspects. The notion ideological aspects is proposed to be related to metaphysical-ontological, epistemological and axiological claims and connotations. Examples of educational issues concerning e.g., aims, compartmentalisation, integration, and fundamentally different ideas about truth, learning and man are mentioned.Searching for a single and unifying concept for the discussing of all of science education's fundamental questions seems however in vain.Therefore a wide range of concepts seems necessary to deepen our understanding of “the fundamental questions”.

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