Monday, August 27, 2012

Rational Metatheory in Education

The use of a rational metatheory in education would have the potential to bridge the gap in theoretical approaches employed by educators and encourage sound educational practices in schools, provided that such metatheory helped to clarify philosophies and not cloud them in ambiguity. In terms of science curriculum, Schulz (2009) suggested that metatheories should "serve to reinforce science education's growing sense of academic autonomy and independence from socio-economic demands" (p. 1). In order to effectively implement sound and research-based educational practices in schools, this fundamental concept noted by Schulz can be considered cross-discipline. In addition, as with other school philosophies, theories, and practices, there needs to be adequate buy-in and support. Schulz (2009) later noted the need for rational and effective metatheory to be a "curriculum-based argument and a grounding argument" (p. 2). Through periodic research and discussion, rational metatheories can help schools reassess strategic plans and goals, while reaffirming what is done in the classroom as being appropriate for 21st-century education. It is the institution or district's responsibility to take such self-reflection and note how best to apply the key philosophical and theoretical concepts to each school's specific environment and community. If done with professionalism, thought, care, and forward-thinking, educators would have a realistic opportunity to effectively bridge the gap between educational approaches and practices.


References

Schulz, R. (2009). Reforming science education: Part II. Utilizing Kieran Egan's educational metatheory. Science & Education, 18(3/4), 1-23. doi:10.1007/s11191-008-9168-0

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