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Jill Bean's picture

I think that viewing "facts"

I think that viewing "facts" and "truths" as simply the best story we have right now makes the most sense.  In the future new observations (perhaps through development of more sophisticated tools) could be made to change our current "facts" and "truths".  There are many things out there that large numbers of people accept as the best story we've got, since all the observations gathered so far support that story.  I don't think that acknowledging that the story may change in the future denies the story is the best one for this time and context.  This is important for all teachers who use open-ended inquiry.  Inquiry does not mean that all students can arrive at their own conclusions and each conclusion is equally right.

Teaching of science can result in students understanding that the "right answer" is the current best story.  I think science education should emphasize the process first.  The content is secondary, but both are important.  Teachers can engage students in a curriculum that will help them evolve their own stories, confront other stories and their, and revise their own stories so they become "less wrong". 

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