Scientific Inquiry By Fred E. Nakaguma Aug. 2004
There are two standards covering scientific inquiry in Hawai`i Content and Performance Standards, HCPS II.
Domain I: How humans think while understanding the natural world. Doing scientific inquiry: Students demonstrate the skills necessary to engage in scientific inquiry.
Domain II: What we know about the world around us.. Understanding scientific inquiry and the character of scientific knowledge. Students explain the process of how scientific knowledge is generated by scientific inquiry, and be able to critique a scientific investigation.
Actually, all five standards under Domain I have something to do with inquiry. 1. Doing scientific inquiry. 2. Living the values, attitudes, and commitments of the inquiring mind. 3. Using unifying concepts and themes. 4. Doing safety. Relating technology to the nature of science.
A recent study, to be published this fall (2004) in “The Science Teacher,” the journal of the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA,) finds that only 45.5% of chemistry teachers teach inquiry.
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 14:29:48 -1000 From: Gail Peiterson Subject: chemistry survey To: email@example.com My name is Kelly Deters. I have published an article giving the results of a survey of college professors concerning preparation for college-level chemistry. As a follow-up, I surveyed 571 high school chemistry teachers about what they teach in high school chemistry and have prepared 3 manuscripts from the data (one is being published in The Science Teacher this fall, and two are in the review process for J Chem. Educ.)
The second research study has provided a result that is leading to the next study. The survey showed that 45.5%of teachers are not including inquiry in their classrooms.I know would like to know if this is true with all science disciplines, and what are the reasons that teachers either do or do not use inquiry. The new survey is located at <http://k.students.umkc.edu/klm508/inquiry.htm>http://k.students.umkc.edu/klm508/inquiry.htm If you could participate in this new, quick (11 question) survey (it‚s for both those that include inquiry and those that do not). This survey is intended for all science teachers please pass it along to anyone that you know teaching high school science∑the bigger, the better! Thank you, Kelly Deters
A new study is now being conducted on science teachers in general to see if it applies only to chemistry teachers or if it applies to all science teachers. What do you think?
Students generally don’t know or understand the “Scientific Method.” Most think that the lab report format is the Scientific Method. Science text books generally have sketchy descriptions of the Scientific Method.
Principal Founders of the Scientific Method: Italian physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). <http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Galileo.html> English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626). <http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/bacon/baconbib.htm>
There is no single “Scientific Method.” However, the Scientific Method can generally be broken down into five steps.
The Scientific Method: 1. Recognize the problem. 2. Make an educated guess---a hypothesis. 3. Predict the consequences of the hypothesis. 4. Perform experiments to test predictions. 5. Formulate the simplest general rule that organizes the hypothesis, prediction, and experimental outcome.
What makes the Scientific Method work so well is that it is merely a logical, step-by-step approach to exploring a problem or question that has been raised through observations.
Other areas of study are now using the Scientific Method: Psychologists use the Scientific Method and consider themselves to be scientists. The US military modified it and call it the “Staff Study.” Business modified it and call it “Problem Solving.”
We will now do a simple experiment in probability to use and demonstrate the Scientific Method.
The Coin Toss Problem: What percent of the time will we get heads or tails on coin tosses? Hypothesis: We will get either heads or tails 50% of the time. This hypothesis is based on observations and probabilities.
The Coin Toss Predict the consequences of the hypothesis. Based on the hypothesis: If we tossed the coin 50 times, we should get 25 heads and 25 tails. If we tossed the coin 100 times, we should get 50 heads and 50 tails. If we tossed the coin………….
The Coin Toss Perform experiments to test predictions. An experiment doesn’t prove anything. An experiment only demonstrates that it happened once. What will happen the next time? This is why more than one experiment must be done, perhaps many.
The Coin Toss Formulate the simplest general rule that organizes the hypothesis, prediction, and experimental outcome. This is the conclusion of the experiment where the scientists express the findings of their experiments as a theory or law.
Bibliography: Anniina Jokinen. The Works of Sir Francis Bacon. April 10, 2004. <http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/bacon/baconbib.htm> Galileo Galilei. University of St. Andrews, Scotland, School of Mathematics and Statistics. <http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Galileo.html> Hewitt, Paul. Conceptual Physics. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 2002. Peiterson, Gail. Chemistry Survey. Email from Kelly Deters, Aug. 14, 2004.