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Part III SCIENCE: 9 Scientific Inquiry and How People Learn
Pages 27-52

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From page 27...
... Part 111 SCIENCE Pages 27-394 are not printed in this volume.
From page 29...
... But some of us were given opportunities to use the scientific method to perform hands-on experiments. We might have tested whether wet or dry paper towels could hold the most weight; whether potential insulators such as aluminum foil, paper, or wool were the best ways to keep a potato hot; and so forth.
From page 30...
... They are also consistent with the intent of the guidelines of the National Research Councils and the American Association for the Advancement of Science,4 as well as the principles of How Peopke Learn. The authors of these chapters do indeed want to help students learn what scientists know and how they know, but they go about it in ways that are quite different from more traditional science instruction, The three chapters focus, respectively, on light (elementary school)
From page 31...
... Everyday Concepts of Scientific Phenomena Students bring conceptions of everyday phenomena to the classroom that are quite sensible, but scientifically limited or incorrect. For example, properties are generally believed to belong to ob ects rather than to emerge from interactions s Force, for instance, is seen as a property of bodies that are forceful rather than an interaction between bodies 6 As described in Chapter 10, students believe objects to "be" a certain color, and light can either allow us to see the color or not.
From page 32...
... , The relationship between heat and angle with respect to The heat source can easily be missed. Everyday Concepts of Scientific Methods, Argumentation, and Reasoning Students bring ideas to The classroom not only about scientific phenomena, but also about what it means to "do science." Research on student thinking about science reveals a progression of ideas about scientific knowledge and how it is justified.8 The developmental sequence is strikingly similar to that described in Chapter 2 regarding student reasoning about histoncal knowledge.
From page 33...
... Minstrell and Kraus discuss ways of teaching physics that are designed to remedy this problem, A study suggesting the advantages of assessing student preconceptions and designing instruction to respond to those preconceptions is sur manzed in Box 9-2. The authors of all three of the following chapters pay close attention to the preconceptions that students hold about subject matter For example, the elementary school students discussed by Magnusson and Palincsar (Chapter 10)
From page 34...
... The examples discussed in The chapters on physics and genetics also illustrate many nch opportunities for students to expenence and understand phenomena from new perspectives. Such opportunities for students to expenence changes in their own noticing, Thinking, and understanding are made possible because of another feature of The programs discussed in These chapters: They all integrate content teaming with inquiry processes radher Than teaching The two separately.
From page 35...
... · inadequacies in Arguments: Most high-school students will accept arguments based on inadequate sample size, accept causality from contiguous events, and accept conclusions based on statistically insignificant differences. 3 More students can recognize these inadequacies in arguments after prompting (for example, after being told that the conclusions drawn from the data were invalid and asked to state why)
From page 36...
... Data were collected for students of three teachers at Mercer Island School who used the program and were compared with data for students in a comparable school where the program was not used in physics instruction. Data were col lected on Miller Analogies Test math scores for students from both schools, so that individual students were compared with others who had the same level of mathematics achievement.
From page 37...
... It includes The use of tools and procedures, but in The context of authentic inquiry, These become devices that allow students to extend their everyday experiences of The world and help Them organize data in ways that provide new insights into phenomena.25 Crucial questions that are not addressed by lockstep experimental exercises include the following: Where do ideas for relevant observations and expenments come from in The first place? How do we decide what count as relevant comparison groups?
From page 38...
... The chapters that follow present a variety of ways to help students experience The excitement of doing science in a way that does justice to all stages of The process. The authors describe experiences that allow students to see everyday phenomena widh new eyes.
From page 39...
... Furthermore, they do so by creating classroom communities that simulate the important roles of scientific communities in actual scientific practice.29 This involves paying careful attention to the arguments of others, as well as learning the benefits of group interaction for advancing one's own thinking. PRINCIPLE #3: METACOGNITION The third principle of How People Learn emphasizes the Importance of taking a metacognitive approach to instruction.
From page 40...
... One is that too much ultraviolet light is getting through the ozone layer. One group of researchers decides to test the ultraviolet light hypothesis.
From page 41...
... Learning about "the scientific method" in the abstract fails to help students grasp this important idea. An interesting side note is that people who have participated in the preceding demonstration have been asked whether they ever studied life cycles in school.
From page 42...
... For example, a scientific mindset suggests that the observation that shiny things reflect light needs to be explained, and this requires explaining why dull objects do not reflect light. As these issues are investigated, it becomes clear that the initial assumption was wrong and that dull objects do indeed reflect
From page 43...
... The following chapters emphasize another aspect of metacognition as well: helping students learn about themselves as learners. The audhors descnbe classroom activities and discussion that encourage students to reflect on The degree to which they contribute to or detract from group processes, and on the degree to which efforts to communicate findings (e.g., in WliTillg)
From page 44...
... Students in the reflective assessment classes showed higher gains both in understanding the process of scientific inquiry and in understand ing the physics content. For example, one of the outcome measures was a written inquiry assessment that was given both before and after the ThinkerTools inquiry curriculum was administered.
From page 45...
... Note first that students in the reflective assessment classes gained more on this inquiry assessment. Note also that this was particularly true for the low-achieving students.
From page 46...
... First, different areas of science use different methods. Second, as discussed above, lockstep approaches to conducting science experiments exclude the aspects of science that are probably the most gratifying and motivating to scientists generating good questions and ways to explore them; learning by being surprised (at disconfimmations)
From page 47...
... As noted earlier, there are many ways to build a bridge that are consistent with the principles of physics, and this is also true of relationships between course design and general principles of learning. It is the intention of the following chapters to provide approaches and ideas for instruction that other teachers may find useful in their own teaching.
From page 48...
... 12. Carey, 2000; Hanson, 1970; National Research Council, 2000.
From page 49...
... . Science education as conceptual change.
From page 50...
... . Supporting learning of variable cont ol in a com puter-based biology environment Effects of pmmpting college students to ˘ flect on their own thinkmg.JournalofResearek in ScienceTeacking, 367)
From page 51...
... . Technolo,gical tools and inst uctional ap p oaches for makin,g scientific inquiry accessible to all.


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