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Nature of Science


Nature of Science NOS Card Exchange Step 1: Obtain 8 cards (that are different from one another). Step 2: Trade cards with classmates in order to amass a better ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nature of Science

Nature of Science
NOS Card Exchange
  • Step 1 Obtain 8 cards (that are different from
    one another).
  • Step 2 Trade cards with classmates in order to
    amass a better collection of cards. (Your
    collection improves as the cards more accurately
    express your views on science.)

  • Find a partner with similar views and select the
    8 best cards from the 16 that you have
    collectively. (Each of you must contribute at
    least 2 cards.)
  • Make a group of 4 and select the 8 best cards.
  • Using the remaining cards, write a statement
    which describes your groups notion of the Nature
    of Science.

  • What in your view is science? What makes science
    different from other disciplines of inquiry?
  • What is an experiment?
  • Does the development of scientific knowledge
    require experiments?
  • After scientists have developed a scientific
    theory, does the theory every change?
  • Is there a difference between a scientific theory
    and a scientific law?

  • How certain are you about the structure of an
    atom? What specific evidence do you think
    scientists used to determine what an atom looks
  • How certain are scientists about their
    characterization of what a species is? What
    specific evidence do you think scientists used to
    determine what a species is?
  • Does science reflect social and cultural values
    or is it universal?
  • Do scientists employ creativity in their
    investigations? If so where and how?

What is the Nature of Science (NOS)?
  • Science cannot be singularly (and definitively)
    defined because it is interpreted in different
    ways by different people.
  • Methods such as the card sort and NOS surveys
    encourage students to think specifically about
    their views on science.
  • Scientists, science educators philosophers of
    science have proposed some consensus views on
  • Views on NOS describe how the scientific
    enterprise operates.

Consensus Views on NOS
  • Empirically-based
  • Scientific knowledge is based on evidence.
  • Testable
  • Scientific ideas can be theoretically falsified
    through evidentiary tests.
  • Tentative, yet Reliable
  • Scientific ideas can change given new data or new
  • Developmental
  • Scientific ideas are often built on earlier ideas.

Consensus NOS Views
  • Creative
  • Scientists employ creativity in posing questions,
    collecting data, and interpreting data. (What
    does this suggest about The Scientific Method?)
  • Parsimonious
  • Given multiple explanations, scientists tend to
    favor the simplest one that maintains predictive
  • Unified
  • Scientific ideas are consistent across different

Consensus NOS Views
  • Culturally-embedded
  • Scientists scientific ideas are influenced by
    the society from they arise.
  • Theory/Law Distinction
  • Scientific theories are robust, empirically
    supported explanations of natural phenomena.
    Scientific laws are perceived regularities
    regarding the natural world. Therefore, theories
    never become laws. Laws are typically more narrow
    in focus than theories.
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