Monday, August 25, 2014

Memo 8/25/14

The “Galileo” article was a dialogue between three characters discussing how to define, measure, and prove uniform acceleration of falling and projectile objects. The three characters represent different perspectives and arguments for and against definitions of uniform acceleration and gravity. Galileo confirms that uniform acceleration is when an object which starts at rest, acquires equal increases of speed during equal time intervals. He proves this statement through experimentation. He explains that dropping a heavy object from a larger distance creates more force because the object acquires speed as it travels. The article focused on differing perspectives, theories, and practices to explain and define uniform acceleration. “Knowing” by Hazen discussed the scientific theory and explained that there is a distinct interplay of observation and theory. It declares that science is a way of knowing about the world. The last article, “Designing to Develop Disciplinary Dispositions” by Lehrer is different in that it discusses how to teach science inside the classroom in terms of designing curriculum to develop interest in science and in specific disciplines of science. They claim that the “aim of educational design is to produce an arrangement of social, cognitive, and material mechanisms that support disciplinary distinct ways of knowing”, meaning that the design is crafted with the “need to know” facts in mind.  It discusses many ways to design curriculum with modeling and hands on learning as the driving force.
            A common theme between the articles is an emphasis on multiple perspectives and individual investigation of scientific ideas, theories and learning.  I found that the articles present science as a dynamic subject that should be taught to students in a fashion that fosters student investigation. It seems that the articles center on how to represent scientific knowledge through many mediums and across all types of learners. I thought all the articles stressed multiple perspectives of conceptualizing and defining science.
            A critique of the article is that I believe that there is a lot of technical knowledge and information required by the students in order to discover and form ideas about science. The article by Lehrer focuses on students relating science to things they know from their life experiences. I believe that while this is a vital part to learning, it must be supported by factual and technical knowledge of the subject. Without this knowledge of the subject, it will be difficult for students to fully understand ideas and how they connect to each other. In addition to having difficulty fully understanding, it could be difficult to express perspectives or explain ideas to others.


  1. Anthony, I thought you brought up a good point when you stated that a common theme what that all of the articles ultimately focused on defining science as a field. While we all talked about this, I think you really made me see that science is an active investigation of the world around us, not just the facts that you learn in the textbooks. Sure that is also science, but throughout history, I feel as though it meant more of a discovery and a “doing of something, which sadly is becoming lost today. With this being said, how would you provide your students with the independence and freedom of self-discovery yet still maintain that cohesive class unit and some form of consistent learning? How do you create that balance? Additionally, in a big class, how to you help guide each student in their process of this discovery?

  2. I will provide students with many opportunities to showcase independent critical thinking through group work and hands on learning. My students will be pushed to analyze science and present their ideas and scientific explanations to other students in the class. I hope that my students will be able to discuss and defend their ideas with each other. In this way, the students will be able to take ownership of ideas and learn how to scientifically defend their conclusions, whether that be through explanation, modeling, drawing, or other representations. Other ways that I can encourage investigation is by allowing students to create labs and choose topics for experiments. In this way, students can choose things that interest them and share those findings with the class. It gives them ownership of the assignment and allows them the independence to shape the study or experiment while still providing them with a basic framework for how to investigate in science. In a big class, I would group students together and allow them to bounce ideas off each other and discover science with a friend.


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