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Process Skills and the Nature of Science

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Science seeks to explain the natural world and its explanations are tested using ... In the marketplace of ideas, the simplest explanation has the advantage. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Process Skills and the Nature of Science


1
Process Skills and the Nature of Science
2
Objectives
  • Students will define the Nature of Science and
    suggest ways to implement it into classroom
    experiences
  • Students will define the various process skills
    and implement them into classroom experiences

3
What science is not
  • Science does not find the answers to questions
  • Science does not state cause
  • Sample is irrelevant to science
  • Evidence, in science, can definitely confirm a
    hypothesis
  • Scientists are always open to new ideas
  • Peer acceptance of results is unimportant in
    science
  • Science operates independently of society
  • Science precedes technology
  • Science and technology are driven by the same
    goals
  • Ethical questions are the same for science and
    technology

4
Nature of Science
  • What is science?
  • Science is a particular way of understanding the
    natural world. It extends the intrinsic curiosity
    with which we are born. It allows us to connect
    the past with the present, as with the redwoods
    depicted here.

This, and the following slides on the Nature of
Science were retrieved from http//evolution.berke
ley.edu/evosite/nature/index.shtml
5
What does science do?
  • Three basic questions
  • Whats there?
  • How does it work?
  • How did it come to be this way?

6
Science Works in Specific Ways
  • Science relies on evidence from the natural world
    and this evidence is examined and interpreted
    through logic.
  • Creative flexibility is essential to scientific
    thinking, however science follows a process
    guided by certain parameters.
  • Science is embedded within the culture of its
    times.

7
Science has principles
  • Science seeks to explain the natural world and
    its explanations are tested using evidence from
    the natural world.
  • Science seeks to explain the natural world and
    its explanations are tested using evidence from
    the natural world.

8
Science is a process (1/2)
  • Scientific ideas are developed through reasoning.
  • Scientific claims are based on testing
    explanations against observations of the natural
    world and rejecting the ones that fail the test.
  • Scientific claims are subject to peer review and
    replication.

9
Science is a process (2/2)
  • In the marketplace of ideas, the simplest
    explanation has the advantage. This principle is
    referred to as parsimony.
  • There is no such thing as THE Scientific
    Method.
  • Theories are central to scientific thinking.

10
Characteristics of Science

  • Conclusions of science are reliable, though
    tentative.
  • Science is not democratic.
  • Science is non-dogmatic.
  • Science cannot make moral or aesthetic decisions.

11
Science exists in a cultural context
  • Science is not always a direct ascent toward the
    truth.
  • Science corrects itself.
  • Science is a human endeavor.
  • Falling in love with ones own hypothesis
  • Being drawn in by preconceptions
  • Read more http//www.project2061.org/publication
    s/sfaa/online/chap1.htm

12
Scientific Literacy
  • The scientifically literate person is one who
    is aware that science, mathematics, and
    technology are interdependent human enterprises
    with strengths and limitations understands key
    concepts and principles of science is familiar
    with the natural world and recognizes both its
    diversity and unity and uses scientific
    knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for
    individual and social purposes
  • American Association for the Advancement of
    Science. (1989). Science for all Americans. New
    York Oxford.

13
Process plus content
Content the knowledge of science
Process skills to do science
14
Observing
  • Qualitative
  • Using the five senses to describe and collect
    data
  • Quantitative
  • Use instruments such as balance, rule, clock, and
    graduated cylinder
  • Consider the variable time to expand data
    collection

15
Communication
  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Pictures
  • Diagrams
  • Reports

16
Classifying
  • Arbitrary
  • Abstraction of a quality
  • Types of classification systems
  • Serial ordering
  • Binary system
  • Multistage

17
Measuring
  • Determination of extent, dimensions or quantity
    by comparing to a unit of measure
  • Children master this skill through repetitions
  • Use the SI (metric) system

18
Relating Objects in Space and Time
  • Symmetry
  • Motion
  • Rate of Change
  • Conceptualization of size of objects viewed
    through microscope/telescope

19
Predicting
  • Forecasting a future event

20
Inferring
  • A tentative explanation of an observation
  • Makes use of inductive reasoning--multiple
    observations for a set of events lead to the
    statement of a rule

21
Controlling Variables
  • Independent
  • Dependent
  • Controlled

DRY
MIX
22
Defining Operationally
  • A statement defining variables and procedures
  • Used to narrow the possibilities in
    interpretations

23
Experimenting
  • Used sparingly
  • Not to be confused with "activities"
  • Involves the testing of a formal hypothesis
  • May incorporate many of the previous skills
  • "Experimenting" versus "Activities"

24
Elements of Experiments
  • State a question
  • Form an hypothesis
  • Operationally define variables
  • Design a test of the hypothesis
  • Perform the test and collect the data
  • Organize and interpret data
  • State a conclusion
  • Report the conclusion

25
Discrepant Events
  • Use of unexpected outcome to provoke deeper
    thinking about the operating principles
  • Use with discretion
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