La culture scientifique et les non scientifiques, entre allégeance et transgression de la catégorisation scolaire

Abstract : Mainly because of their ambiguity and reliance on school curricula, views promoting a "cultural knowledge" of science (in French: "culture scientifique") have been repeating themselves identically since thirty years, holding it able to improve both elite detection and knowledge sharing, forgetting that the educational system categorises pupils into one quarter of scientists and three quarters of non-scientists. For the latter, a conative obstacle adding to natural cognitive obstacles literally teaches them to accept this categorisation, which may even become a self-fulfilling prophecy that they are not able any more to deal with any sort of science. Moreover, this "knowledge", being a prescription without any relation to the scientific and technological dimension of culture as experienced by everyone, reinforces the epistemological divide between scientific knowledge and knowledge originating in day-to-day life: instead of recognising the opportunities of acculturation to science brought about by technical practices, it introduces a "scholastic" obstacle. We suggest that this field of cultural knowledge of science for adults can be categorised in two families. The first one organises the dialogue between scientists and "laymen" without questioning this divide. The second, which fosters the appropriation of knowledge and of approaches that transgress the "scientific-unscientific" stereotypes, belongs to historical currents in self-directed learning, fighting for chosen knowledge and empowerment: make the best of a chronic illness through life-acquired knowledge, take part in activist-organised surveys, or find fulfilment in experimental technico-scientific leisure activities.
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Olivier Las Vergnas. La culture scientifique et les non scientifiques, entre allégeance et transgression de la catégorisation scolaire. Education. Université de Nanterre - Paris X, 2011. ⟨tel-00640582⟩

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