Apr 232009

explanation button“The real job of science is to produce better explanations -and no matter how they are formulated, explanations are structures of ideas. Everything else is secondary. Myth, common sense, and imagination also produce explanations. What sets science apart is the sustained effort to improve on the available explanations; in short, science is theory-building. Careful observation, methodical testing, marshaling of evidence – these are all important parts of scientific practice, but theories are the goal and the guides. They are what make patient observing and testing worthwhile and personally rewarding. Can young students grasp this? Yes, but this it not the place to marshal evidence for it. Instead, we end with the words of a Grade 5 girl who we think has as good a sense of what science is about as many a philosopher…”
Copied from the following article:
Bereiter, C. & Scardamalia, M. (2009). Teaching how science really works. Education Canada, 49(1), 14-17.

There is also mentioned of this video clip in the following book chapter:

Bereiter, C. & Scardamalia, M. (1996). Rethinking learning. In D.R. Olson, & N. Torrance (Eds.), The Handbook of education and human development: New Models of learning, teaching and schooling (pp. 485-513). Cambridge, MA:Basil Blackwell.

“…It is not only educators who could benefit from a more elaborated conception of knowledge and learning. As Olson and Bruner propose (this volume, chap. 2), students’ own conceptions of knowledge and learning are important. If there is a more profitable way to conceive of knowledge and learning than the way offered by folk theory, students ought to be let in on the secret. Iftoday’s students are to be making careers out of working with and adding value to knowledge, they too need a conception of knowledge and learning that does not confuse knowledge objects (World 3) with mental states of knowing (World 2). This is not anĀ unrealistic goal, even at the elementary school level. Students in one class heavily committed to knowledge building (Scardamalia, Bereiter, Hewitt, and Webb, in press) were asked individually how they knew when they had learned. The most articulate response was given by a fifth-grade girl, but other responses were along the same lines. She said:

I think that I can tell if I’ve learned something when I’m able to form substantial theories that seem to fit in with the information that I’ve already got; so it’s not necessarily that I have everything, that I have all the Information, but that I’m able to piece things in that make sense and then to form theories on the questions that would all fit together.

We doubt If Karl Popper would have put it much better…”