Incorporating the Nature of Science Throughout the Year


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This presentation discusses how secondary teachers can help their students understand the nature of science more fully. The presentation discusses strategies to integrate the nature of science within other instruction.

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Incorporating the Nature of Science Throughout the Year

  1. 1. Incorporating the Nature of Science Throughout the Entire School Year. Jerrid W. Kruse South Sioux City Middle School [email_address]
  2. 2. The Nature of Science <ul><li>How science works. </li></ul><ul><li>The essence of science. </li></ul><ul><li>The fundamental assumptions and processes of science. </li></ul><ul><li>No scientific method, science is tentative, subjective, socially/culturally embedded, creative, empirical, imaginative, collaborative,… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Struggles with Integration <ul><li>Textbook offers single unit/chapter. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science Careers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graph Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measurement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other teachers do not see importance. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No “meat”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student resistance. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Decontextualized to Contextualized NOS Continuum (Clough 2006) <ul><li>Decontextualized (black-box). </li></ul><ul><li>Moderately Contextualized (lab activities) </li></ul><ul><li>Highly Contextualized (historical examples) </li></ul><ul><li>Clough, M. P. (2006). Learners’ Responses to the Demands of Conceptual Change: Considerations for Effective Nature of Science Instruction. Science & Education, 15(5), 463-494. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Classroom Atmosphere. <ul><li>Question/Discussion-based classroom. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas not facts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debate not recitation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Investigations rather than labs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very little to no preset procedures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results can be unexpected or vague. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning of data is made by students with teacher questions guiding thinking. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Introducing the Nature of Science <ul><li>Students consider “What is science?” </li></ul><ul><li>Decontextualized “black-box” activities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Magic tricks” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tubes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cubes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These activities serve as experiences on which students can reflect when discussing contextualized nature of science examples. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Moving toward Contextualized. -Rutherford Tray.
  8. 8. Why start NOS discussion with black-boxes?
  9. 9. Moderately Contextualized NOS example 7 th Grade <ul><li>Students were given the task to investigate how hard water affects soap. </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ initial conclusions were that hard water increases soap effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was majority view. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To further test their ideas, students introduced solutes into distilled water. </li></ul><ul><li>They interpreted their new data as contradictory to their previous conclusions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many speculated errors. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Addressing NOS from Examples. <ul><li>Your ideas changed based on new evidence, what might this indicate about science? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you have to be creative during your investigation? </li></ul><ul><li>How did your classmates influence your investigation/thinking? </li></ul><ul><li>You had arrived at a conclusion, when data seemed against it you assumed error, why? </li></ul><ul><li>How might technology help your investigation? </li></ul><ul><li>How are the methods and thinking you did in this investigation similar to the tubes (cubes, tray, etc)? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why are inquiry experiences useful for helping students understand NOS? <ul><li>How can we promote nature of science understanding when using cookbook labs? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Historical Short Story - Galileo <ul><li>… heavenly bodies were smooth spheres – perfect examples of God’s creation. According to the Church, any other belief would be contrary to what it said in the Bible…Galileo used his telescope to study the Moon, he observed no smoothness… thought that the dark, smoother spots on the Moon indicated seas…Some astronomers came up with alternative suggestions – for example the Moon had an invisible crystal outer layer that was perfectly smooth…Kepler borrowed a good-quality telescope and confirmed Galileo’s measurements…used a secret code to ensure that Kepler couldn’t claim the ideas…he didn’t intend nor want to disprove the Bible. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Discussion of Short Story. <ul><li>What is the difference between Galileo’s and everyone else’s ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>How does technology help and also hurt Galileo’s ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>Why was Kepler’s confirmation of Galileo’s observations so important? </li></ul><ul><li>The Church changed Copernicus’ book; what impact might this have on science? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you think Galileo felt about science and religion? </li></ul><ul><li>How does this story compare to things we do in this class? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why start with black-box, then lab experiences, then history of science?
  15. 15. Why continued NOS instruction?
  16. 16. Sample Student Writing <ul><li>Last year I would have thought a scientist was just someone that kept testing things that other scientists had found. I didn’t think there was still things in the world that we needed to figure out. -MF 9th </li></ul><ul><li>Science is solving problems on not yet reached subjects of nature. Scientists have to have creative minds. –AL 9th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I thought science was just memorize, answer, and taking really hard tests. I was always really bored. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>The idea of a scientific method is partially accurate. It shows the steps that are a lot of times used in science, but it is very inaccurate in saying that there is one right way to do science when there are actually many diff. ways. –AM 7 th </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific knowledge could be both [invented & discovered] for me. The knowledge part to me is invented because invented means you built up ideas and made one big idea & you discovered it like it’s something that’s been there but you’ve never seen it before. –JL 7 th </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>I think that the majority of it [science] is based on evidence and observation but there is some other aspects also. For example, imagination and your own thoughts/ideas are apart of it too because you have to have some way to tie all your info together and that’s where your imagination comes in. -MM 7 th </li></ul><ul><li>Most scientific ideas change, but some stay the same for a very long time. We will never know if our ideas are 100% right. -KP 7 th </li></ul><ul><li>Observations can’t make us understand, we have to be able to interpret them ourselves. -RA 9 th </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of the time you will find a temporary answer to science, but some things seem to last for a long time, as if there will be no other answer. –AM 7th </li></ul><ul><li>It’s [understanding NOS] important for not only educated people, but everybody . –JS 7th </li></ul><ul><li>For the most part you find evidence but you also use lots of creativity. –NM 7th </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Evidence is not all scientists use. They have to use other scientists. –JD 7 th </li></ul><ul><li>Science is everything! It’s what we see, breath, do, everything around us because you can observe things w/ technology. When you breath you’re doing science because you’re using forces. It all relates to science! –JL 7 th </li></ul><ul><li>It [science] is like a big puzzle from which many pieces are missing. People with good ideas and clever minds will be good at science. -AB 7th </li></ul>
  20. 20. Advanced Science Students <ul><li>Scientific Method is used by many scientists for many years to prove things, it’s accurate if they do it properly. –AK 12 th </li></ul><ul><li>Real science is the use of the scientific method –SL 12 th </li></ul><ul><li>Most to all science is observation. It’s observation –CR 12 th </li></ul><ul><li>It [scientific knowledge] is discovered rather than invented –AS 12 th </li></ul>