Taoism and its implications for science education

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Hua, H. P.
Chang, C. Y.

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As one of the major schools of thought in ancient China, Taoism centers on the concept of "Tao", the Way, which has two distinct characteristics: (1) Tao itself can be deemed as a final "reality" that is equivalent to the ontology of the Universe; and (2) Tao itself cannot be defined directly by human language. Taoism posits a holistically cosmological view on the universe as an organic Whole and illuminates that there is always a tendency to establish a dynamic balance within the Universe. Based on these characteristics and the belief that, to a certain degree, relationships exist between Taoism, modern science, and the contemporary environmental crisis, this paper attempts to render a number of implications for science education including: (1) providing a philosophical ground to loosen the tension resulting from current arguments on science education research in the postmodern era; (2) setting an alternative possibility for developing science curricula; and (3) serving as a practical ideology for self-reflection on science teaching.