Our approach to science education must evolve

To counter creationism and climate change denial, we need to teach pupils to be scientifically literate, writes James Williams, but overemphasising facts and processes risks producing knowledge without understanding

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In the era of fake news, expert knowledge is easily dismissed. There’s a danger of pseudoscience and nonsense replacing rational thinking. A core aim of science education is to teach scientific literacy: this should help to combat the rise of pseudoscience. But the question is, are we succeeding?

Creationism or believing that the Earth is flat or that gravity isn’t real are extreme positions often dismissed as crank views. More harmful are the rise of the anti-vaccination lobby and climate change denial. How, in the 21st century, can we have such anti-scientific thinking if science is a core ...

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