Process, Not Product: A Better Method For Teaching Science
Nuclear energy. Penicillin. Lasers.
Science produces some pretty groundbreaking discoveries, but when we focus on the products, as opposed to the process, we miss a huge part of what makes science one of the most valuable resources we have as humans.
In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about some of the aspects of science education that could be improved upon, in order to ensure we have a public that's well-informed.
When the focus of science education is on the outcome, educators have a futile task of cramming information into student's brains. First, there is just way too much to know for this to ever be accomplished. Secondly, even if a teacher could provide all of this information, students wouldn't remember it anyway.
Instead of teaching the outcomes, as Dr. Duke and Dr. Markman point out, teaching the process allows students to have in their toolbox a form of inquiry that will help them to navigate the world in a more informed and thoughtful way.
Another aspect of teaching science that is important to our understanding of the scientific process, is how scientists come to do specific experiments and ask the questions they ask. When we know these stories we can start to see that it's not all magic and mystery, but it's curious people trying to find out more about this world in which we live.