Making explicit some tensions in educational practice: science education in focus



The relevance of Science Education to the modern world nowadays is the subject of many authors. There are a lot of expected outcomes and also a lot of different perspectives that teachers, researchers and educational policy makers have been using to grasp teaching-learning process and to plan/conduct educational activities in science classrooms. Most of these perspectives are grounded in a logic that is incapable to deal with contradictions reinforcing dichotomies and most of them are unable to properly analyze controversial social issues that are more frequently introduced in sci- ence educational practice. The main consequence of this framework is the emerging apparent oppositions between individual and collective; ontology versus epistemology; alienation versus emancipation. Bearing in mind these cir- cumstances we understand the necessity of a dialectical approach. In this paper we address some of those emerging ten- sions analyzing its consequences to Science Education considering Cultural Historical Activity Theory. To deal with those oppositions we propose three analytical categories for tensions: a) the subject of activity; b) the content of activ- ity; c) the outcome of activity to fully understand the dialectical nature of contradictions.

General Information

Keywords: Tensions, Science Education, Activity Theory, Alienation, Emancipation, Formation of the Individuals

Journal rubric: Scientific Life

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Camillo J., Mattos C.R. Making explicit some tensions in educational practice: science education in focus. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2014. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 110–115. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Juliano Camillo, PhD Student, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, e-mail:

Cristiano R. Mattos, PhD in Physics and Matematics, Professor, Institute of Physics, University of Sa~o Paulo, Sao Paolo, Brazil, ORCID:, e-mail:



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