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Adapting practice-based philosophy of science to teaching of science students

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  • Sara Green, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Hanne Andersen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Kristian Danielsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Claus Emmeche, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Christian Joas, University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Archive
  • ,
  • Mikkel Willum Johansen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Caio Nagayoshi, Escola Vera Cruz and Colégio São Luís
  • ,
  • Joeri Witteveen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Henrik Kragh Sørensen, University of Copenhagen

The “practice turn” in philosophy of science has strengthened the connections between philosophy and scientific practice. Apart from reinvigorating philosophy of science, this also increases the relevance of philosophical research for science, society, and science education. In this paper, we reflect on our extensive experience with teaching mandatory philosophy of science courses to science students from a range of programs at University of Copenhagen. We highlight some of the lessons we have learned in making philosophy of science “fit for teaching” outside of philosophy circles by taking selected cases from the students’ own field as the starting point. We argue for adapting philosophy of science teaching to particular audiences of science students, and discuss the benefits of drawing on research within science education to inform curriculum and course design. This involves reconsidering teaching resources, assumptions about students, intended learning outcomes, and teaching formats. We also argue that to make philosophy of science relevant and engaging to science students, it is important to consider their potential career trajectories. By anticipating future contexts and situations in which methodological, conceptual, and ethical questions could be relevant, philosophy of science can demonstrate its value in the education of science students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer Nature B.V.

    Research areas

  • Case-based teaching, Implied student, Integrated history and philosophy of science, Philosophy of science in practice, Science didactics, Teaching philosophy of science

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