What’s in a Word? How Word Choice Can Develop (Mis)conceptions About the Nature of Science

by: Renee Schwartz

Despite over 10 years of reform efforts, research still shows that students typically have inadequate conceptions of what science is and what scientists do (McComas 2004; Lederman 2007). Many science students, as well as some teachers, use a single “scientific method” that, “proves a hypothesis” by systematic data collection. This view does not acknowledge creativity, inference, or tentativeness as characteristics of science. It not only misrepresents the nature of science, but likely makes science inaccessible to many students. The techniques included here raise awareness of common terminology and the image of the nature of science in general.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 10/1/2007Stock # ss07_031_02_42Volume 031Issue 02

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