An Inquiry into Science Education, Where the Rubber Meets by Richard N. Steinberg (auth.), Richard N. Steinberg (eds.)

By Richard N. Steinberg (auth.), Richard N. Steinberg (eds.)

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They get to the point that they say they saw the block move in a particular direction, slow down, and stop. Then I take out a block with the same size, shape, and appearance, except the bottom is unambiguously smoother. As best as I can, I give the second block the same initial push. ” This time I get observations. ” I ask for more. ” Good, but not quite where I was going. ” Okay. ” Wait, what does that mean? I gave them both similar initial pushes. They started with the same speed and then each slowed to a stop.

He said that it would prepare them to focus in what they needed to learn. I think he was right and his results bore him out. Next I thought about the development of student thinking about scientific ideas and reasoning skills. Inertia is a difficult concept with which my college students routinely struggle. They might “know” the word, but typically have no sense of its meaning or application. It is certain that even if Mr. Lowrey’s students were able to repeat the definition from the internet, they were unlikely to have a meaningful 34 A DISTANCE OF 24 SECONDS understanding of the underlying ideas.

As part of the required curriculum I covered the propagation of light. I started with asking if light is something that travels from one place to another instantaneously or just extremely fast. I asked the students to try to think of a way to figure out the answer to this question. Me: How can we measure the speed of light? 0 x 108 m/s. 31 CHAPTER 3 The answer was stated incredulously, by Amanda and so many others. Why am I asking such a simple question? The answer is as obvious as knowing that the earth goes around the sun!

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