Category Archives: EdSci Byte

New EdSci Byte

In the article Toward a more coherent model of science education than the crosscutting concept of the next generation science standards: The affordances of styles of reasoning” Osborne et al., (2017) are trying to investigate and offer a new framework to help guide teachers, curriculum designers, and assessment developers. The model contains 6 styles of scientific reasoning (i.e., mathematical deduction, experimental exploration, hypothetical modeling, categorization and classification, probabilistic thinking, and evolutionary reasoning) and is compared to 7 crosscutting concepts introduced by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The authors challenge the NGSS point of view of science as a singular construct, and instead discuss how different fields of science have different ontological and epistemic frameworks, and also require different methodologies for investigation. The authors’ framework is designed on the basis of a plurality of science wherein the aim is to enhance NGSS crosscutting concepts by integrating styles of scientific reasoning. Each style of reasoning illuminates a common form of reasoning and epistemology used in specific scientific disciplines.  Consequently, the authors suggest consideration of styles of reasoning in considering any future revision of NGSS because this model is coherent with micro and meta-understanding of science educators.

-Busra Uslu and Archie Dobaria

Forming Arguments

In her article Are We Making Students Argue Too Much?”Kate Ehrenfeld Gardoqui describes the moment she realized that simply teaching students to find evidence to support a claim was not effectively preparing them to be objective evaluators of information. To avoid confirmation bias (described in this article as “finding evidence to support a pre-formed opinion”), she suggests looking deeply at issues by gathering data, reading journal articles, conducting interviews, and making observations. We agree with Gardoqui that only finding evidence to confirm one’s existing beliefs is insufficient and problematic. We would add to her suggestions the practice of critical evaluation. By looking at the pros and cons of one’s position as well as the pros and cons of an alternative position, students are forced to remove themselves from the shackles of their confirmation bias, facilitating more objective and productive evaluation and argument. It’s not how much we argue; it’s how we form our arguments.

– Reed Kendall