Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
What’s natural about nature? Deceptive concepts in socio-scientific decision-making
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. (Network for Science Education Research & Development)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9132-8615
Uppsala University. (Network for Science Education Research & Development)
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 2301-251X, E-ISSN 2301-251X, Vol. 3, no 3, 250-264 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The conflicts between nature and nurture are brought to the fore and challenges socio-scientific decision-making in science education. The multitude of meanings of these concepts and their roles in societal discourses can impede students’ development of understanding for different perspectives, e.g. on gene technology. This study problematizes students’ use of “nature” and “naturalness” to further the development of the experience of science education in relation to the nature-nurture debate. We build on the social constructivism view that present conceptions of nature and naturalness emanate from historical and modern social constructions of nature. Claims presented by upper secondary school students in interviews actualizing the control of human actions pertaining to treatments for hereditary diseases by making use of concepts of “nature” and “naturalness were analysed. The students suggested control of human activity on different levels of biological organisation, either from within the Romantic view or the Enlightenment view on nature. The Romantic view provided students with moral grounds for consistently preserve what is considered as nature and means to bolster their reasoning by referring to the balance in nature, the purity of nature, and the laws of nature. The Enlightenment view provided students with means to support gene technology by embedding “nurture” into the concept “nature” by using knowledge while implying that nurture is a natural way to overcome such imperfections of nature. We propose that these conflicting views should be addressed in biological education to promote students’ understanding of contemporary discourses dependent on the different concepts of nature and nurture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 3, no 3, 250-264 p.
Keyword [en]
nature, nurture, knowledge, moral, reasoning, decision-making
National Category
Research subject
Natural Science, Science Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45396OAI: diva2:840600
Understanding the formation of Scientific Literacy through Socioscientific Issues: A study of student discourse and reasoning capabilities
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-07-08 Created: 2015-07-08 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(324 kB)47 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 324 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links


Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lindahl, MatsLinder, Cedric
By organisation
Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences
In the same journal
European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 47 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 138 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link