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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
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Internet and the truth about science : we gave a science war but nobody came / George Meadows [and] Aimee Howley.
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1 of 11 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 6 Number 19October 13, 1998ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Editor: Gene V Glass Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Education Arizona State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1998, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any a rticle provided that EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold. The Internet and the Truth about Science: We Gave a Science War But Nobody Came George Meadows Mary Washington College Aimee Howley Ohio UniversityAbstractEven though sophisticated discussion of the nature of scientific claims is taking place in the academy, public school teachers of science and mathematics may harbor naive assumptions about the way that scientific processes function to construct the "truth." Reluctant to change their prior assumptions about s cience, such teachers may become vulnerable to information technologies (including low-tech" media such as textbooks and films) that construe science as a collection of facts. An on-line lesson about constructivism provided a forum in which a group of teachers revealed well-established epistemologies seemingly inimical to the principles of conceptual change teaching. Further, the strategies used by the teachers to que ll a potentially interesting debate provided preliminary evidence of differences in the motives for communication in virtual, in contrast to real, communities. "The teaching of mathematics and science is often a uthoritarian; and this is antithetical not only to the principles of radical/ democratic pedagogy but to the principles of science itself. No wonder most Am ericans can't distinguish between science and pseudoscience: their science te achers have never given them any rational grounds for doing so. . Is it then any surprise that 36% of Americans believe in telepathy . ?" (Sokal, 1996)

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2 of 11Introduction Those of us who are interested in science and scien ce education are familiar with controversies involving science and the role of sci ence in society. Recent decades have seen concern over the link between science and the military, threats to the environment posed by new technology, and the implications of ad vances in biotechnology. Conflicts between science and organized religion, such as the ongoing battles around the topic of evolution, also occur (Gould, 1980; Montagu, 1984; Nelkin, 1982) Whereas the issues raised by these conflicts are important, they do no t strike at the foundations of science. Rather, while assuming--sometimes in a naive way--t he epistemological claims of science, they question its uses and applications. Fundamentally different, though, is the battle curr ently taking place, described by some as the "science wars" (McMillen, 1996). This d ebate does not focus primarily on the ways that science will be used or on how scienc e threatens certain theological beliefs. Fundamentally more radical, this discussio n questions the foundational claim of science, that science can provide an objective view of the physical world. Advanced by scholars in the social sciences and hum anities who study and describe the cultural, social, and political influe nces on science, this discussion often calls upon arguments from postmodernist philosophy. These arguments concern our ability as human beings to separate knowledge of th e world from our personal and social constructions of it. Postmodernists suggest that we each play an important role in constructing our own reality. Given the importance of different social and cultural influences--language being the foremost example--ou r individual realities cannot be expected to coincide. On this view, scientists have always been and continue to be as vulnerable as the rest of us to the influences of p ersonal experience, culture, and language. Whereas scientific interpretations of the world may be more systematic than nonscientific interpretations, they are not neces sarily more true. This argument, of course, challenges the privileged role of science a s the sole interpreter of the "real world" (Anderson, 1990). The recent "Sokal controversy" provided dramatic ev idence of the degree to which the "science wars" are now escalating. Physicist Al an Sokal submitted an article questioning the objective basis of science to the j ournal, Social Text an important postmodern journal (Berkowitz, 1996). His article e xpressed many of the ideas and views held by postmodernists and carried the additi onal cachet of being written by a scientist. Shortly after the article was published, Sokal published a second article revealing the first as a hoax. According to Sokal, his aim in perpetrating the hoax was to challenge the academic standards of those scholars who endorse and contribute to postmodern theory. In his view, the editorial board 's decision to publish his first article was proof of the slipshod standards and gullibility of scholars in the postmodern camp. Because this controversy has widened, now encompass ing a number of academics from different disciplines and universities (McMill en, 1996), we wondered what meaning it might hold for the classroom science tea cher. Academics are raising and debating fundamental questions about the nature and status of science. Should public school science teachers remain unaware of the issue s being raised? Should they remain distant from these important discussions? Recently we had the opportunity to introduce at lea st some aspects of the discussion to a group of science and mathematics te achers. Whereas we did not plan to discuss the "science wars" per se or to review the Sokal controversy, we did hope to engender discussion of some of the underlying quest ions: "How do we, as individuals,

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3 of 11come to judge what is or is not science?" "What are the boundaries that we establish for our personal beliefs?" "Do these boundaries coincid e with those set by science?" It was our intention, through the medium of an on-line cou rse--part of a project with which we were involved--to ask teachers these questions, evo king discussion of foundational issues and relating these issues to the practice of teaching science.Background The on-line course was part of the West Virginia K12 Ruralnet project, an NSF funded initiative whose primary work was to train a nd assist West Virginia science and mathematics teachers to use the Internet in a varie ty of ways that enhance classroom instruction.1 Over the forty-two months of its dura tion, the project worked with approximately 1000 teachers from throughout the sta te and from every grade level. In its initial phase, the project provided a two-we ek summer training session to a group of approximately 40 teachers who were selecte d to serve as teacher-leaders over the course of the project. These teacher-leaders al so participated in two on-line courses, for graduate credit, offered through the two univer sities involved in the project. Whereas the fall on-line course focused on the practice and development of Internet skills, such as the use of e-mail, listservs, and gopher, the sprin g course concentrated on the use of Internet resources in the classroom. Following guidelines set forth in West Virginia's n ew Science Curriculum Framework, the Ruralnet project advocated a constru ctivist approach to science teaching. Constructivism not only provides a philos ophical framework for the teaching of science, but, as we will discuss below, offers s pecial lessons for the use of the Internet in the classroom. It is this notion of constructivi sm that lies at the heart of the "science wars" as well. Constructivism raises questions abou t how our own experiences, ideas, and concepts affect what we come to know through sc ience. It challenges conventions of science instruction that represent science as an ab solute and objective picture of the world. Guided by this approach, we decided that the initia l lesson for the course would involve the teacher-leaders in an exercise that imp lemented constructivist philosophy through conceptual change teaching. Simply stated, conceptual change teaching suggests that learning situations involve the following step s: (1) allowing the learner to state his or her initial concept of a particular phenomenon, (2) engaging in evidence gathering and discourse, debating the merits of different con cepts, and (3) restating more adequate concepts (Posner, Strike, Hewson, Gertzog, 1982) Th is, of course, is an iterative process, continuing as long as time permits. Learne rs continue to develop their concepts through the process of examination and discourse. We adopted these steps as the basis for the lesson. We would first provide the teacher-leaders with a topic and ask them to post t heir initial concept of that topic. The next few weeks would consist of gathering evidence, posting that evidence, engaging in online discourse, and restating concepts. The teach er-leaders would post a final conception and then address several questions regar ding how and why they experienced conceptual change. A good deal of consideration was given to the topic we would discuss. As different phenomena were suggested, we noticed that several criteria were emerging: The topic should engender discussion about the natu re of science, the scientific method, or what constitutes scientific evidence. The topic should not be one where a few experts mig ht dominate the discussion by providing the one "right" answer or explanation.

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4 of 11The topic should be one about which all teacher-lea ders might feel confident in offering opinions. The topic should be one to which all teacher-leader s should have had some exposure: we should avoid esoteric, little-known ar eas of knowledge. The topic should be somewhat controversial, but not one in which individuals might place a high degree of value; for example, th e topic of creationism might threaten religious beliefs. The topic should not be one for which the teacher-l eaders would be able to go to a book to find out what they think they should know. There should be a good deal of information concerni ng the topic available on the Internet. And perhaps most important, this topic should be co mpelling enough to engage people in on-line conversation. The topic we chose was psychic phenomena (i.e., for tune telling, ghosts, channeling, and so on). In addition to meeting our criteria, this topic also was timely: news had just come out concerning the expenditure o f millions of dollars by the Defense Department for psychic investigations; a recent bro adcast of NOVA, the science-oriented television show, had discussed the evidence for various psychic phenomena; and commercials advertising psychic "rea dings" were becoming fairly common on television and radio. We also suspected that the teacher-leaders might ha ve some personal anecdotes or feel comfortable in sharing some "friend-of-a-frien d" stories in regard to this topic. Whereas the topic is controversial, we felt that it would not be threatening. We did not believe that it would be linked to value issues, su ch as religion or politics. It also seemed to be a fairly easy topic to discuss, not requiring technical knowledge or a specialized vocabulary. We suspected that there would be few, i f any, authorities on the topic among the teacher-leaders. Additionally, there is a great deal of information available on the Internet in regard to this topic (Sheaffer, 1996). There are numerous sites for skeptics and believers, as well as for the just plain curiou s. Furthermore, the topic certainly applies to science perhaps even challenging conventional wisdom about what might constitute sci entific method, reasoning, and evidence. Many of the Internet sites dealing with t his topic provide data, discuss research, and "look" scientific (e.g., Princeton En gineering Anomalies Research, on-line), yet the majority of scientists are skepti cal of many of the claims made by these investigators (Schick & Vaughn, 1995.) In fact, the scientific appearance of some questionable sites raises a critical issue we had n ot considered in our initial thoughts on bringing the "science wars" to classroom teachers. If the written word carries power, what kind of power is carried by theanimated-graphical-hypertexted-morphed-video-clippe d word? The World Wide Web provides a very large audience to just about anyone who can put up an attractive web page. As teachers browse pages (or use search engin es to locate sites related to various science topics) how will they be able to judge what is "good" science as opposed to what is "bad" science? In summary, we felt that the subject of psychic phe nomena met our criteria very well. It would provide a good test case for the app lication of constructivism (and conceptual change teaching) to the use of the Inter net in the classroom. Learners would not be given meaning; they would construct meaning through a process of social negotiation. This is where the true value of the In ternet in this experiment became obvious. How else could we engage over 40 teachers, from different grade levels and

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5 of 11from throughout the state, in social negotiation? W hat other environment offered such a forum? The participants had common access to a vast amount of information and the ability to communicate almost instantaneously with a relatively large number of peers. The exercise would also provide the teachers with a framework from which they might view the "science wars." Without some experie ntial grounding, the claims of the postmodernists seem to be without merit and would m ost likely be dismissed without consideration. Teachers armed with the experience o f seeing how their own constructions are determined and changed would be m ore likely to gain from theoretical exchanges about the nature of science and its epist emological claims.Response to the Lesson We started the lesson with a discussion of its aims acknowledging explicitly that the topic--psychic abilities--provided a case in po int. We indicated in our opening messages that the activities involved in the lesson had more to do with constructivism than with psychic abilities per se. We asked the te achers to suspend their disbelief and to view the lesson as a simulation of conceptual chang e teaching. Despite what we thought to be a forthright yet invi ting introduction to the lesson, the teachers were not especially receptive. They we re neither interested in its constructivist focus nor accepting of its incorpora tion of psychic abilities as the example of a controversial topic. Several teachers claimed that the lesson was a "joke" or a "waste of time", and a number of them found the topics (bo th the topic of psychic abilities and the topic of constructivism) "irrelevant", "lacking in interest", and "useless" for them as teachers. This disposition, shared among many of th e discussants, may have been responsible for their reluctance to engage with the lesson in the playful, yet serious, manner that we had hoped they would embrace. Despit e their reluctance, the teachers did undertake a rudimentary discussion of the topic which revealed their general stance toward psychic abilities, their strategies of argum ent, and a surprising but important recontextualization of the issues at stake. Analysis of the e-mail exchange revealed that, in g eneral, the teachers expressed one of three possible stances toward psychic abilit ies. Some teachers adopted a stance of uncritical rejection. One teacher's characterizatio n exemplifies this approach: "there is no such thing as psychic ability ... I believe my s tatement to be undeniable". Another stance embodied uncritical acceptance, characterize d by statements such as the following: "although rare ... psychic abilities do exist in certain individuals". Despite the fact that these two stances represent contrasting o pinions, neither is critical because neither depends upon nor calls for warrant of any t ype. Both approaches tend to conflate opinion with true belief, and most of the teachers seemed willing to treat unsupported opinion as sufficient warrant in and of itself. A t hird approach invoked open-mindedness in dealing with the question of psychic abilities. Some of the teachers who took this approach did so because they did not have a definit ive position about the topic-they spoke of "not closing doors". Others seemed to adop t it because they subscribed definitively to a "scientific" way of thinking, con struing science as a method that "always allows for the possibility" of new discover ies. Under this latter construction, the very process of science would require the teachers to take a skeptical rather than a dogmatic stance toward the question. After making their initial claims about psychic abi lities, the teachers provided arguments to elaborate their positions. These argum ents tended to be naive, in that they almost always belittled the possible merits of oppo sing positions. For example, one teacher argued, "I cannot in all seriousness, belie ve that 'my personal psychic' can tell me

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6 of 11what lies ahead for $2.50 for the first minute...." By equating all psychics with "my personal psychic", this teacher challenged the seri ousness of any claim that psychic abilities might really exist. Most of the arguments provided by the teachers subs cribed to this general perspective, though there were some interesting var iations. A number of teachers chose to "explain away" psychic abilities rather than to give reasons for believing that such abilities are not real. According to one teacher, a large quantity of so-called 'psychic experiences' are schemes to make money." Others cal led them "delusions","coincidences", "good guessing," "scams ", "hunches", and "our own subconscious controlling our minds". These characte rizations, which constituted the most prevalent claims made over the course of the e ntire discussion, served to distance the teachers from the topic, keeping them somehow i mmune from it. This strategy was surprising in light of the fact that a few particip ants did engage the question earnestly and offered some compelling arguments on both sides of the issue. Teachers who distanced themselves from the earnest thread of the discussion tended to marginalize the efforts of those who remained engaged. One of the arguments, offered by two or three of th e teachers who took the discussion seriously, attempted to account for the possibility that psychic abilities might exist. These teachers argued that intuition was par t of everyday experience and that psychic abilities might, therefore, involve extraor dinary intuitive talent. They also made the claim that the brain had "uncharted reaches" th at might house abilities as yet undisclosed. The most sophisticated arguments offered in the dis cussion took an inquiring stance and tended to invoke the scientific method a s a truth test for the claims made by psychics or by those who believe that psychic abili ties exist. Teachers who argued from this vantage seemed to maintain that the burden of scientific proof fell to those making claims about powers that were not within everyone's experience. According to one teacher, "extraordinary claims of any sort require extraordinary proof." Another teacher called for controlled experiments with replicable f indings. And another suggested that the scientific community had already reached consen sus on the question. Though different, these arguments all spoke to the require ment that such questions be approached both publicly and systematically. A less sophisticated, but still serious, form of ar gument relied on personal warrant. This approach was used by teachers arguing on both sides of the question. Several female teachers spoke of "mothers' intuition" as an almost-psychic experience. Others recounted experiences of clairvoyance that could no t be explained in conventional terms. And a few teachers used the fact that they had neve r had psychic experiences or seen demonstrations of psychic abilities as evidence tha t such experiences and abilities do not exist. A final class of arguments relied on a fallacy know n as "the fallacy of accident". In this case, teachers argued from the general to t he particular without attending to the specifics of the particular circumstances. For exam ple, one teacher claimed that if psychic abilities exist then "I do not think some t ragedies like the Oklahoma bombing or the Challenger explosion would occur". This reasoni ng suggests that the existence of tragedies renders impossible the existence of psych ic abilities that might predict such tragedies. It doesn't take into account the variety of possible conditions that could mediate the direct connection between any predictio n and the actual event or the circumstances that might keep any such prediction f rom being made, on the one hand, or becoming public knowledge, on the other. Rather than arguing about the existence of psychic abilities, a few teachers sought

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7 of 11to reframe the question in ways that we never antic ipated. These teachers contextualized the question within the spiritual rather than the e mpirical domain and then used Biblical text to warrant their views about it. One teacher w rote: "I do not have any scientific evidence for the existence or non-existence of psyc hic abilities. However, as a Christian and a believer in the biblical records presented in the Bible, I would have to believe in the existence of psychic abilities." Another teache r, accepting the Biblical claims for the existence of such abilities, cited Leviticus 18:1012 as a caution against the use of such abilities: "Let no one be found among you ... who p ractices divination or sorcery ... or who is a medium or spirit or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord...." As with some of the oth er argumentative strategies used, this recontextualization of the question assumed a stanc e that was so definitive that it served to protect teachers from the discussion rather than involving them in it. This stance, as it was articulated in response to t he original version of the question as well as to the recontextualized version, managed to render as unarguable a topic that the lesson identified as prototypically arguable. I t clearly transformed the nature of a dialogue that was supposed to constitute and exempl ify "constructivist" teaching and learning. It is not clear to us whether or not this transformation was intended by the teachers as a way to defeat the premises of the les son. But it does seem apparent that their assumptions, dispositions, and modes of argui ng actually had this effect. At the end of the lesson, the teachers were so dist ressed by the discussion that they were unwilling to respond to our efforts to debrief We had hoped that the dialogue about psychic abilities would provide a shared expe rience from which we might all examine the practice of conceptual change teaching. The most vocal of the teachers, however, made clear their displeasure with construc tivism, identifying it as an esoteric theory with little practical import for public scho ol classrooms. If there were teachers in the group who were supportive of constructivism, th e tenor of the discussion was sufficiently hostile to insure their silence.Using the Internet to Assist Meaning-Making As the result of this less-than-successful lesson, we learned a number of things about the nature of discourse and the ways that Int ernet use can interfere with it. First, we received an important reminder about the strengt h of prior assumptions. Working from a constructivist vantage, this was no surprise in a theoretical sense. But we did not anticipate the important difference between specifi c naive assumptions and well-formed, internally-consistent sets of assumptions based on alternate world views. In short, we found that, among many of the teachers, prior const ructions of reality (and of science and also of discourse) were not sufficiently piecem eal to admit conceptual change. Rather, the coherence of their views--the religious beliefs of some of the teachers as well as the pedagogical beliefs of most of them--made th em resistant to the cognitive dissonance that the lesson attempted to provoke. Pu t another way, the teachers' prior assumptions were sufficiently elaborate and functio nal as to make assimilation relatively easy and accommodation almost impossible. Thus the social negotiation that we had hoped to stimulate was rejected because it stood ou tside of the belief systems of the teachers. In a very real sense, discourse of this t ype did not exist for them. Obviously, the clash of belief systems characterize s all discourse, not just the discussions that the Internet permits to take place But, because of their nature, virtual discussions in virtual communities may pose particu lar dangers to discourse in general. Unlike physical communities, virtual ones share no common ground in the very literal sense.2 Grounded in other shared purpose (e.g., the cultivation of a neighborhood that

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8 of 11belongs to everyone), physical communities allow mu ltiple perspectives to exist side by side, interacting and having crossinfluences over long periods of time. Members of physical communities have some stake in maintaining a peaceful way of life, and they offer shared activity as a solace for the losses en countered in clashes over belief. But the stakes in virtual discussions are not very high, an d the requirements for mannerliness are, therefore, formal rather than implicit. Furthe rmore, in the absence of the physical encounter, virtual discussions reduce all discourse to mere words. The relationship between words and a way of life is lost in this for um. This loss is important because it reinforces the already rampant alienation and narci ssism of our late twentieth century society--supporting the logically insupportable arg ument that all beliefs have an equal claim to truth, that all values are equally good, a nd that personal inclination is the final arbiter of both truth and merit. Added to this disturbing circumstance are other fea tures of virtual life that we observed to become animated in the lesson on psychi c phenomena. Important among these features was the tendency of the Internet to disable efforts to distinguish between reputable and disreputable sources of information ( see e.g., Burbules, 1996). Almost anyone can have a web page, and almost anyone can p ost a message to a discussion list. Moreover, these artifacts can take the form of very credible-looking products. At the same time such products need not contribute anythin g of substance; they can mislead unintentionally or intentionally. Some commentators suggest that this feature democra tizes discourse, and it may indeed have this effect; but the caveats necessary to accommodate this type of democratization may be so intrusive as to inoculate all discussion from credibility. Without having traditional sources of intellectual authority to rely on, one might as well invent reality capriciously. An alternative, of cou rse, is to hope that everyone will become sufficiently knowledgeable, critical, and so phisticated so as to be able to distinguish routinely among the multiplicity of com peting truth claims. From our experiences with this lesson, however, we suspect t hat a third strategy may have wide currency: In the face of multiple, incompatible, an d seductive truth claims, people may very well do what the teachers in our group did--re treat more deeply into their previously held belief systems, shield these systems from inte llectual challenges, and refuse to entertain serious argument across assumptions.Implications for Science Teaching The approach taken by the teacher-leaders with whom we worked effectively removed them from discussions about the nature of s cience and scientific claims (cf. Pomeroy, 1993). These discussions, however, may be critical to informed practice of science education since they implicate both the met hod and the findings of science. Scientists--no matter what their take on the "scien ce wars"--avoid the naive claim that science establishes an infallible canon of natural law. Notably, proponents on either side of the debate promote more subtle and sophisticated views of science than our teacher-leaders were willing to entertain. This cir cumstance is more troubling than the "science wars" themselves, which, after all, entail thoughtful, dynamic regard for an important realm of human inquiry. At a time when science teachers need to be increasi ngly careful in sifting through vast arrays of information, reliance on established "fact" seems to be a most unfortunate anachronism. Encouraged to accept constructivist ap roaches, science and math teachers still cling to traditional rote and text-based meth ods (Besvinick, 1988; Gess-Newsome & Lederman, 1991; Stigler & Hiebert, 1997). Although structural constraints clearly do

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9 of 11keep science and math teachers from changing their instructional methods to incorporate constructivist practices (e.g., Keiser, & Lambdin, 1996), our investigation suggests that their prior beliefs about science teaching and abou t the nature of science itself may constitute another--possibly more formidable--imped iment to change.NotesThe authors wish to acknowledge the National Scienc e Foundation's support for the West Virginia K-12 Ruralnet project (NSF 95-500 17) and the research conducted in conjunction with that project. 1. We appreciate and agree with the comments of a revi ewer of the article who reframed our distinction between real and virtual c ommunities more broadly to encompass the distinction between real communities and arbitrary groupings of people (e.g., in classrooms, in the work place, on the freeway). 2.ReferencesAnderson, W.T. (1990). Reality isn't what it used to be. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco Press.Berkowitz, P. (1996, July 1). Science fiction: Post modernism exposed. The New Republic [On-line]. Available: http://www.enews.com/magazines/tnr/archive/07/berko witz070196.html Besvinick, S.L. (1988). Twenty years later: Revivin g the reforms of the '60s. Educational Leadership 46(1), 52. Burbules, N. (1996). Technology and changing educat ional communities. Educational Foundations 10(4), 21-32. Gess-Newsome, J., & Lederman, N.G. (1991, April). P reservice biology teachers's subject matter structures and their relationship to the act of teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Lake Geneva, WI. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 331 )720 Gould, S.J. (1980). The panda's thumb New York: Norton Press. Keiser, J.M., & Lambdin, D.V. (1996). The Clock is ticking: Time constraint issues in mathematics teaching reform. Journal of Educational Research 90(1), 23-30. McMillen, L. (1996, June 28). The science wars. The Chronicle of Higher Education pp. A8-A9, A13.Montagu, A. (1984). Science and creationism New York: Oxford University Press. Nelkin, D. (1982). The creation controversy Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Pomeroy, D. (1993). Implications of teachers' belie fs about the nature of science: Comparison of the beliefs of scientists, secondary science teachers, and elementary teachers. Science Education 77(3), 261-278.

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10 of 11 Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR). [O n-line]. Available: http://www.princeton.edu/~rdnelson/pear.htmlPosner, G.J., Strike, K.A., Hewson, P.W., & Gertzog W.A. (1982). Accommodation of a science conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education 66(2), 211-227.Schick, T. & Vaughn, L. (1995). How to think about weird things: Critical thinking for a new age Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company. Sheaffer, R. (1996, May/June). The weird world web. The Skeptical Inquirer 20(3), pp. 17, 54.Sokal, A.D. (1996). Alan Sokal's home page. Availab le: http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/physics/faculty/sokalStigler, J.W., & Hiebert, J. (1997). Understanding and improving classroom mathematics instruction. Phi Delta Kappan 79(1), 14-21.About the AuthorsGeorge MeadowsDepartment of EducationMary Washington CollegePhone: 540-654-1351E-mail: gmeadow@mwc.edu George Meadows is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Mary Washington College. He received his Ed.D from West Virginia University, working in the area of science education and technology. Current interests include the use of conceptual change meth ods in teaching multiculturalism and the applications of art in science education.Aimee Howley Profeesor College of EducationOhio UniversityEmail: howley@oak.cats.ohiou.edu Aimee Howley is Professor in the Educational Studies Department at Ohio University. Teaching primarily in the Educational Administratio n program, her research examines critically the theory and rhetoric that inform educ ational practice in the US. She is currently working on an analysis of developmentalis m as an ideology, focusing particularly on it contradictory influence on US pe dagogies.Copyright 1998 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is http://olam.ed.asu.edu/epaa

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11 of 11 General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, glass@asu.edu or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-26 92). The Book Review Editor is Walter E. Shepherd: shepherd@asu.edu The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: casey@olam.ed.asu.edu .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Andrew Coulson a_coulson@msn.com Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov hmwkhelp@scott.net Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Richard M. Jaeger University of North Carolina--Greensboro Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton apembert@pen.k12.va.us Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson Arizona State University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers Ann Leavenworth Centerfor Accelerated Learning Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven scriven@aol.com Robert E. Stake University of Illinois--UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education Robert T. Stout Arizona State University