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LuisanaT's picture

The Less Wrong Model

The possible model Penn mentions is a good starting point for student and scientific progress. We (Julia and I) would like to take this opportunity to expand on this model, giving it a third dimension. In this newly revised model, the starting point of every individual is of complete ignorance/total wrongness. Any given number of observations constitutes a sphere with our point at its center. For any given sphere, there are multiple, acceptable interpretations, allowing the number of stories to surround the point to approach infinity. This sphere is comprised of the stories/theories of science/student’s understanding of life concepts. As the number of observations that a story is capable of addressing appropriately increases, the greater distance there is from the center point. Progress therefore, can be measured by distance from the starting point. It is important to note that this does not entail a linear process; it is very possible to move in scientific understanding and not make any “progress”. If one were to imagine the possibility of there being multiple stories that encompass the same number of observations, the shift in the individual’s learning can travel in a L-shape fashion. This movement is still valuable in generativity and potential progress. This holds especially true if the scientific progress advances further away from the center at this new point and forms for example, something of a staircase shape. Although the nature of the path can not be predicted, all we can say is that it is more than likely not linear.

This understanding of science should be taught to students in their first introductory lesson/class of science. It’s important to have students understand where their science education is going and how science will and has progressed, allowing them to come into science with the appropriate mentality and expectations.


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