Case Study: Teaching Nature of Science Through Scientific Models: The Geocentric vs. Heliocentric Cosmologyby: Matthew Price and Michael Rogers

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This column provides original articles on innovations in case study teaching, assessment of the method, as well as case studies with teaching notes. In the nonmajor science classroom, case studies—when used as learning tools—should help students build the necessary framework to understand the nature of science. For most students, the nonmajor science course (in our case, Astronomy 101) may be the last time that they interact with science in a formal learning setting. The authors examine methods of helping students understand the nature of science and build an appropriate epistemological framework. Students have explicit discussions about the nature of science and the “values and beliefs inherent to scientific knowledge” to include science–society interactions. The discussion of and activities concerning the construction of scientific models are particularly effective in helping students understand the nature of science. The authors share the first of many model building exercises.

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