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Deborah Hazen's picture

Science Starting Thoughts

questions, Bill Nye the Science Guy, "How do they know that?"

Science has always been about asking questions---my pre-college science classes emphasized this approach to science. I guess I was lucky. It wasn't until I went to college and enrolled in freshman bio and chem that science became about multiple choice tests and replicating labs proctored by TAs.  Bill Nye was one of my daughter's favorite shows when she was young. "How do they know that?" is the common refrain in my classroom--especially as we tried tackling evolution this past spring!

I am heartened to talk about "the crack" and the role of things like cultural background, personal temperment and individual creativity in science summaries. Social scientists have long wrestled with this.

We talk about the importance in science education of encouraging kids to get things wrong--because it is in the "getting things wrong" that we move forward. So I'm intrigued by the idea that we tell stories about our observations because we want to make sense of the world. Given that we want to make sense of the world, then how "natural" is it for us to want to look toward summaries and activities that don't emphasize getting the "right answer."

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