The dilemma of incorporating a spiritual perspective in science education

Year: 2003

Author: Jane, Beverley

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Deep ecology' has the potential to solve the current dilemma facing science and science education. In this paper the argument is for a paradigm shift, a move from an outdated worldview to a holistic approach, where science embraces an ecological perspective. It is argued that an ecological paradigm, inclusive of spiritual and subjective viewpoints, may lead to a sustainable future for our pla net. Some scientists recognise the spiritual in their work and have described a spiritual feeling in their research. One such scientist was Barbara McClintock who revealed the 'participatory' nature of her scientific investigation of the interaction of genetic forces in corn plants. She stressed the need to have a 'feeling for the organism' and wrote of affection, love and kinship for her plants. This way of knowing called 'participatory knowing' results when all pre-occupation with self is given over to a state of complete attention. Such participatory consciousness was "set aside for a hundred years for ideological, political, scientific and technological reasons" (Heshusius, 1994:18). It is now time for a science curriculum in schools that fosters participatory knowing and science as a way of being.