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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 47; doi:10.3390/educsci7020047

Reconceptualizing Scientific Literacy: The Role of Students’ Epistemological Profiles

Department of Society, Education and Knowledge, Faculty of Education, Fluminense Federal University, rua Prof. Marcos Valdemar de Freitas Reis, s/n, Bloco D, Campus do Gragoatá, Niterói – RJ, 24210 201, Brazil
Institute for Science Education and Communication, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 9, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Cooper & Sacks, Research Lead, 52 Coopers close, E1 4BB. London, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eila Jeronen
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [271 KB, uploaded 13 April 2017]


In this theoretical article we construct an argument for a pedagogical perspective based on the notion of epistemological profiles for scientific literacy for primary and secondary education. Concurrently, we offer a discussion of the implications of this proposal to the preparation of teachers and the development of their pedagogical skills. Underlining cultural practices in the construction, communication and validation of knowledge—called epistemic practices which are informed by an ideological perspective on science, are implied in the notion of epistemological profiles in the context of science teaching, particularly physics. Using the concept of mass in the context of science education, we discuss how different ideological perspectives on science reflect distinct aspects of reality. Thus, in this paper we propose an ‘order’ and ‘direction’ to scientific literacy and education in science, emphasizing the construction of a clear empirical perspective for primary school and a rationalistic ideological perspective for secondary school. We complement our argument with resources from activity theory and discourse studies, alongside a discussion of issues and challenges. In concluding this paper, we point out that such proposal requires a change in the classroom teaching culture. View Full-Text
Keywords: science education; epistemological profile; ideological perspective on science; model for learning; philosophy models; culture; activity theory; discourse science education; epistemological profile; ideological perspective on science; model for learning; philosophy models; culture; activity theory; discourse
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Drumond Vieira, R.; Florentino de Melo, V.; Avraamidou, L.; Avelar Lobato, J. Reconceptualizing Scientific Literacy: The Role of Students’ Epistemological Profiles. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 47.

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