Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Scientific Method...

The Science Mommy received a few questions regarding "The Scientific Method" and would like to offer an explanation of this process as it relates to Kid Scientists.  Kid Scientists, in their natural environment, are compelled by their own curiosity to discover, explore and investigate.  As I have mentioned before, this natural curiosity is often squelched when Kid Scientists are faced with classroom science in which there is an expected right and wrong answer.  Please remember the Science Mommy is a public middle school teacher - it is my daily dream to help change the system while being a part of the system.

"The Scientific Method" is often presented to students as the way scientists do science and is a series of steps that are to be memorized.  (Something like...Ask a Question,Write a  Hypothesis, Gather Materials,  Follow the Procedure, Collect Data, Write a Conclusion).  There is nothing wrong with any of those steps - except that they are often taught as steps to be memorized and conducted with predictable demonstrations rather than as thought processes in and of themselves.

The Science Mommy would offer a different way of looking at the process of science - Inquiry.  Inquiry can be defined in a variety of ways but I went to the the National Science Education Standards for a big picture definition:
"Inquiry is a step beyond ''science as a process," in which students learn skills, such as observation, inference, and experimentation. The new vision includes the "processes of science" and requires that students combine processes and scientific knowledge as they use scientific reasoning and critical thinking to develop their understanding of science. Engaging students in inquiry helps students develop

  • Understanding of scientific concepts.

  • An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.

  • Understanding of the nature of science.

  • Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.

  • The dispositions to use the skills, abilities, and attitudes associated with science.
    The Science Mommy hopes that the explorations and investigations you find here encourage your Kid Scientist to think, to look at the world in a new way, to discover something they didn't know, to ask questions and look for answers, to wonder.  If you are trying to connect the thinking and exploring your child is doing to grade level expectations...Contact Me ... I would love to help.

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