The National Research Council's Framework for K—12 Science Education and the resulting Next Generation Science Standards call for engaging students in the practices of science to develop scientific literacy. While these documents make the connections between scientific knowledge and practices explicit, very little attention is given to the shared values and commitments of the scientific community that underlie these practices and give them meaning. I argue that effective science education should engage students in the practices of science while also reflecting on the values, commitments, and habits of mind that have led to the practices of modern science and that give them meaning. The concept of methodological naturalism demonstrates the connection between the values and commitments of the culture of science and its practices and provides a useful lens for understanding the benefits and limitations of scientific knowledge.
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Vol. 78 • No. 5