This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 26, Issue 4, Author(s): Mansoor Niaz, “Science Curriculum and Teacher Education: The Role of Presuppositions, Contradictions, Controversies and Speculations vs Kuhn's ‘Normal Science’“, Pages 891-899, Copyright Elsevier (May 2010).
The article describes Kuhn’s (1970) claim that textbooks are good 'pedagogical vehicles' for the perpetuation of ‘normal science’.
However, Collins (2000) has found out a fundamental contradiction with respect to what science could achieve (create new knowledge) and how we teach science (authoritarian).
The author claims that despite the reform efforts, students still have naïve views about the nature of science. Furthermore, textbook analyses show almost a complete lack of understanding of the role played by presuppositions, contradictions, controversies and speculations in scientific progress.
The author suggests a possible solution to the contradiction pointed out by Collins. The author discusses a comparison of teaching approaches based on Kuhnian and Lakatosian perspectives of history and philosophy of science. It appears that the Kuhnian approach leaves out what really happens, that is the 'how' and 'why' of scientific progress.
On the other hand, the Lakatosian perspective would enable students to understand that scientific progress is subsumed by a process that involves conflicting frameworks (dispute in science, according to Collins, 2000), based on processes that require the elaboration of rival hypotheses and their evaluation in the light of new evidence.
The author claims that it is plausible to suggest that the teacher by 'unfolding' the different episodes (based on historical reconstructions) can emphasize and illustrate how science actually works (tentative, controversial, rivalries, alternative interpretations of the same data),
and this will show to the students that they need to go beyond ‘normal science’ as presented in their textbooks.