Publication! Teaching the Scientific Method


This has been a long time coming!  Almost 11 years since a fateful conversation at a picnic table at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Mar Wonham and I have just published our system to help students with their (scientific) logic.  The conversation topic was how to truly teach good scientific logic – something biologists do all the time, but rarely teach directly.  We ended up narrowing it down to two basic concepts: pattern and mechanism.  Starting from there, we have found that we can really help students generate good questions and hypotheses, and then design studies (surveys or experiments) to test those hypotheses and answer questions.  Along the way, we help stamp out fuzzy logic.  So, at the most basic level,  we are really just teaching critical thinking – which actually goes beyond teaching anything specific to science.

Wyeth, R.C., and Wonham, M.J. 2018. Patterns vs. Causes and Surveys vs. Experiments: Teaching Scientific Thinking. The American Biology Teacher 80(3): 203–213. doi:10.1525/abt.2018.80.3.203Link to PDF


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