Case Study: Learning About the Nature of Science With Case Studiesby: Kathy Gallucci

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Case studies are an effective way to help students understand how science works, and perhaps even more importantly, how science knowledge is constructed. Yet often when we teach the content of science, we overlook the nature of science (NOS), and in particular, how knowledge claims of science are justified (Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, and Lederman 1998; Duschl 1990). The seven examples of case studies presented here attempt to contextualize NOS concepts focused on learning about how scientific knowledge is acquired.

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  • on Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:58 AM

The author discusses how she used 7 case studies to teach the nature of science. The Dragon in my Garage is a great one to start the year with as it emphasizes asking questions, making observations, and designing experiments to try to answer you question about whether or not there is a dragon in the garage! Table 1 is a great quick reference for the case studies the author presents.

Emily Faulconer  (Archer, FL)
Emily Faulconer (Archer, FL)

  • on Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:56 PM

This article presents a case for college science courses to use case studies as a means to get students to think about the processes and limitations of science in a more realistic manner. While it is specifically focused on undergraduate biology classes, it provides information and references that could easily be applied to other science areas, pre-service teacher education, and in some instances, upper level high school classes. I think some with modification might even be used in middle level science at that age when students are starting to think of interactions between science and society to better understand the role and importance of science in daily life.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

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