Monday, June 25, 2012

Worldviews Used In Teaching Homeschool Science

Worldviews are the ways in which science facts are framed when they are taught. The most common worldviews are those of Creationism and Materialism and some may include Darwinism and Intelligent Design. These are opposing models, diametrically disparate with strong proponents on each side of the fence. So is it possible to teach homeschool science in a way that honors both types of framework? Actually there is - and here's why it's important to make your child aware of them all.

The Different Worldviews

In a very basic manner, all worldviews used to frame homeschool science teaching fall into one of two categories: theological (Creationism) or materialistic (Darwinism).

The Creationistic worldview defines all things in science as God's creations. Since God created everything in the world, the student only learns the concepts of science that fit into that particular framework.


The Materialistic worldview is based on the universe and everything it contains being composed only of matter and energy. The student who is only exposed to a Materialism framework for science learns nothing about divine creation.

Neither framework is wrong and actually, both of them provide certain benefits when it comes to developing a greater understanding about how our world works.

Science Curriculum and Worldviews

Choosing one side over the other can get in the way of kids understanding real science. These worldviews color a student's perception of science and allow them limited interpretations of the data they find. When kids are allow to investigate scientific concepts using any worldview "lens", they can make their own conclusions and use their natural curiosity to seek answers outside of a rigid framework.

The best science curriculum is worldview neutral. The homeschool teacher is encouraged to focus less on rigid frameworks and philosophy and more on developing critical thinking skills. By teaching your kids how to evaluate and think critically about the topics of science - and any other subject, for that matter - while helping them develop their natural curiosity, they will excel in real learning.

In order to teach science effectively, kids need to be encouraged to think openly, analytically and factually about the topics presented. When they are limited to one specific and narrow worldview, they learn only a portion of the huge topic of science in general. Kids are better able to understand complex concepts and extrapolate those facts to other disciplines when they are presented with, and allowed to examine, opposing scientific models.

What does this mean for the homeschool science teacher? One way to help your kids explore and examine, investigate and learn is to allow them to follow the evidence presented in any science curriculum. Include the elements of scientific Materialism while encouraging ideas from Creationism. Let them look at both sides and come to conclusions - or formulate questions - that provoke new discoveries.

The ability to evaluate opposing models is the most important tool we can provide the next generation. Creationism and Materialism really shouldn't be at war with each other. By using a worldview neutral approach to teaching homeschool science, we can raise the next generation of scientists who discover important new concepts and parts of our world yet untapped.

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