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Developing an appreciation of scientific method in biology

Gore, Willie James
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this report has been to attempt to present an "ideal" method of teaching an appreciation of scientific method in biology. One of the difficulties in trying to reach tenable conclusions regarding the aims of science instruction in the modern school lies in the fact that, at present, we have difficulty in evaluating such statements made by educators and others. Research on whether an appreciation of the scientific method can be taught satisfactorily is cited and those techniques found to be successful by the author are presented in the form of an outline giving procedures for making a course outline in biology. Included at the end is a section containing a selected group of materials that might be used in teaching the scientific method and scientific attitudes.
Findings and Conclusions: For the teacher who recognizes each student as an unique personality, and who tries to teach his students as individuals, the problem of adapting the scientific method to best meet the needs of the individual. becomes great and the obstacles to be overcome difficult. The teacher can, in a very general way, make at least a beginning by utilizing one or more of the following techniques:
1. Provide students with a simple explanation of the scientific approach and its uses, and provide an opportunity for each student to practice the techniques in simple ways.
2. Try to help students to make accurate observations, and group these observations into logical conclusions in a variety of situations and under a variety of conditions.
3. Try to develop in students the ability to see things in true perspective, and how to relate things to reality and practical living, that they may more effectively utilize their newly-gained knowledge of scientific procedures more advantageously.
4. Encourage use of the scientific method in solving problems encountered outside the classroom and in other classes.