The Nature of Science

Introduction

Science is arguably one of the most difficult disciplines to teach. Teaching science is considered difficult, because there are many topics that educators would consider abstract. Many science educators search for innovative and exciting ways to teach science with the goal of engaging students. One thing that should be taught to students to solidify their science foundation is the nature of science. The nature of science is a particular way of understanding the natural world. Research suggests that teaching students the nature of science can enhance their content knowledge and increase student achievement (Cleminson, 1990). Educators have created innovative lesson plans to teach the nature of science, and have creative ways to assess their students’ understanding.

The Nature of Science

There are many misconceptions when it comes to science, especially the understanding and teaching of science. The nature of science depicts science as an important way to understand and explain what we experience in the natural world (Bell, Maeng & Peters, 2010). The nature of science is very abstract and is conceivably easier to describe than to define. One characteristic of the nature of science is scientific knowledge is both reliable and tentative. Even though scientific knowledge is supported by experiments that have been repeated numerous times, it cannot be considered as the final word. Tests are consistently conducted to challenge previous findings (Bowen, n.d). Scientific knowledge is reliable until it is disproved by modern findings. Another characteristic of the nature of science is scientific knowledge; it is the product of observation. Observations are gathered with the use of the five senses and sometimes technology. They are the basis of all scientific inquiry. An additional characteristic of the nature of science is that scientific knowledge is derived from creative thinking. Creativity is a very important portion of science. When scientists investigate and experiment, they think of creative methods and procedures that will bring new results and understanding for their experiment. With creativity, scientists will not be limited in their field of research, but they can explore the vast possibilities that their mind can offer.

In essence, the nature of science is generally understanding of the natural world and how scientists explore theories, laws, experiments etc. and develop scientific knowledge.  It’s imperative that instructors understand the nature of science thoroughly so that they can pass their passion for knowledge on to their students.

The Nature of Science in my Classroom

As a science educator, I think that it is imperative for students who are taught science to understand the nature of science. This is not something that should be taught to students in a single lesson plan, but that should be incorporated in every lesson plan and every aspect of the science classroom. I would have at least one lesson in the beginning of the course where I explicitly make the nature of science a specific goal of instruction, with lesson objectives, activities, and assessments (Bell, Maeng & Peters, 2010). I would also include aspects of the nature of science in as many lesson plans as possible throughout the course. The average student doesn’t perceive science as fun or creative, rather every science as disciplinary, difficult and boring.

As I teach my students the nature of science, I will use that opportunity to make the classroom instruction fun and exciting. I will allow my students to be creative when they approach scientific problems and encourage them to think of all the possibilities. Also, I will have my students illustrate drawings for every topic that is taught, so they can be creative with the material that is taught. The student’s drawings will then be hung around the classroom so they can observe their peers’ work. Also, by hanging the student’s drawings, the students will feel a sense of ownership of the classroom and be more comfortable. If students can connect science and art they will understand that scientific knowledge is attained by being creative.

In groups, students will have to perform their own research projects on a scientific topic of their choice. Having students work on their own research projects will allow them to make observations pertaining to the project understand that there is not only one scientific method. Lastly, my classroom will be filled with quotes that will reinforce the idea that students should be creative and observant at all times.

Students and the Nature of Science 

As an educator, it is important to assess students to ensure that they have a solid understanding of the material that is has been taught to them, in this case the nature of science. There are many ways to assess students’ understanding of the nature of science. One effective way to assess students’ understanding of the nature of science is by having in class discussion where students will discuss the nature of science how it can be applied to different topics in science. Another way to assess students’ nature of science understanding is to allow time for students to free write about what they think science is to them, a few times throughout the semester. With these simple activities, educators can gauge individual students’ understanding of the nature of science and get a general consensus for the class as a whole.

Summary

Understanding the nature of science may be difficult for some students and even educators, because the concept is abstract. But the understanding of the nature of science is crucial for students to enhance their content knowledge and increase achievement in the field of science. Students should be reminded frequently throughout every science course about the nature of science and it should be visible all around the classroom. Students should be exposed to the content about the nature of science to the point that it is second nature. Educators should assess their students’ understanding of the nature of science directly and indirectly throughout the course of the year.

Work Cited

Bell, R., Maeng, J., & Peters, E. (2010, May 11). Virginia Mathematics and Science    Coalition

Scientific Inquiry and the Nature of Science Task Force Report. Retrieved fromhttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CC0QFjAB&url=http://www.vamsc.org/projects/VMSC_Inquiry_and_NOS_White_Paper_5_11_10.doc&ei=Nj9BT_T5Msn0AGy3pTPBw&usg=AFQjCNG5DFTvu1Akg7ai4MnVUlsiYQ2wAw&sig2=FdAgU5hkCiTNdkWgELIoaQ 

Bowen, A. (n.d.). Nature of Science. Retrieved from http://www.teacherlink.org/content/science/class_examples/Bflypages/nos.htm

Cleminson, A. (1990). Establishing an epistemological base for science teaching in the light of contemporary notions of the nature of science and of how children learn science.  Journal of Research in Science Teaching 27, 429-445.

 

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Dear Summer

Dear Summer [2011],

            I know you’re not done blessing me with your beautiful weather and I’m sure you still have many memories in store for me, but I thought that this would be a good time for me to show how much I appreciate you. Although, you officially came into my life on June 21st, I believe that we met as soon as the spring semester ended. Since then you have been great to me. I moved into my first apartment with my bros and experienced nothing but good times, laughs, real talk, and hunger. When I look back at those four weeks spent at Renaissance Village I laugh at everything that we’ve been through, but I also cherish every minute of it (minus the tantrums). We created something great (ReelRebelz), motivated each other and enhanced our brotherly bond. I got a chance to reflect on my life and think about the next step.

            You presented me with so many opportunities to take advantage of and I did. Continuing my research project had to be one the best decisions I’ve ever made because it gave me the chance to grow academically and be acknowledged for my time and dedication put into the project. I’ll never forget the days that you were sweltering hot and I would run to the lab trying to escape you, only to realize that I couldn’t stay there all day and I would have to face you eventually.  It wasn’t too bad because I soon learned to love you despite your sweltering heat, dry air and occasional humidity.

            Even though you’re still around for a few more weeks, I think our best days have past – summer orientation. It started in a place with no cellular reception, full of trees, cabins and a soothing fireplace where we played assassin and shared secrets. Four days at Twin Valleys with the orientation staff was one of the best experiences of my college career. If I did all over again I would pick a different location, but keep the same people. I truly enjoyed getting to know every single person that I worked with and am honored to have been part of a group of exceptional individuals. Either you do it or you don’t, right? And I did it, even though it was half assed. I got my feet wet, literally, at Rainbow Lake and submerged my entire body in a pool for a photo. Just for you Summer, I made attempt to swim, it didn’t end well, but hey I tried. After all the fun of training the freshmen arrived and added to my memories. They were so shy the 1st day, but by day two they were pounding on my door giving me music request. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to connect, meet and be a support system for so many amazing young people.

            I have so many great memories, I can’t write about every single one, but I loved creating a unique bond with my Crayola family. They knew how to keep my level and grounded. Whenever Clinton dinning hall repeated a meal or didn’t have an appetizing selection of food someone was always down to order for the high class spot, Number One. Summer, you allowed me to bring in my 21st birthday with my Crayola family and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I enjoyed that day like no other. They had me in UNO’s feeling like a superstar and we had our own party that night. I wouldn’t have wanted to celebrate my birthday any other way. During orientation the staff and students helped me explore and find a part of my personality that I never thought I had, some would call it goofy others would call it personable and outgoing. Either way I had the chance to grow immensely. Orientation allowed me to find hope and learn to be optimistic about all situations. A win – win for me.

Summer, you’ve been great to me. I wouldn’t have asked for any more or any less. I believe that everything happens for a reason and all the occurrences during our time together have overall lead me to become a better and stronger person. Thanks for an amazing time, but like all good things we must come to an end, please show the same love to my friends.


                                                                                                Love,
                                                                                                Edmund S. Adjapong

Writing to: Dear Summer – Jay –Z





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Reflection on Spring ’11

Wow the spring semester of 2011 has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I hold on to many memorable memories and many learned lessons. This past semester was my most difficult by far. With a packed schedule of classes and extra curricular activities I was pushed to my physical and mental limit many times. But I do not regret any second of it but, looking back I may have done a few things differently. This semester I added another activity to my list of extracurricular activities, Student Association Senator. Being a Senator this semester has contributed to my growth as a person this semester. Met a lot of great people and learned how to work with people who wouldn’t normally work with, but best of all I got a chance to better implement cultural and diversity awareness on my campus. Overall, it was a great experience. Next semester I plan on taking it to the next level, so everyone who needs to watch out, watch out. This was a great semester for AKEBA (BSU), the organization that has my heart. We killed the competition and came home with many club/organization awards. That clearly shows that hard work pays off. The members of AKEBA have bent over backwards to host educational and cultural events that raise awareness not only about the Black community, but about all communities. Of course the honorary member, ME, put in a lot of work. Glad to see it all pay off in the end. Next academic year will be even better.
So much has happened this past semester, I don’t know what to write about. This past semester I created many strong bonds with some pretty amazing people. My residents, haha, I had the most unique floor this past semester with many different personalities, but all my residents brought a little laughter into my day when needed. Had many good times with team HARRINGTON – Where we keep it real at all times. I’m going to miss many people from the class of 2011. But it’s time for all of you to spread your wings outside of Plattsburgh and continue to flourish, our relationships will remain intact no matter how far you all are, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and the good people at Facebook.
This semester wasn’t all peachy; I didn’t meet my academic goal. To me, when I don’t reach my goals I feel like I failed. After some reflection and much thought I’m not upset with myself for not reaching my goal. I’ve come to cope with failure because I believe that it’s healthy and inevitable. In order to reach ultimate success I will bump into failure here and there. This is an example. But thanks to those who put up with my rants about teachers and finals, lol, this semester has drained me mentally.
Now, I’m on to my senior year of undergraduate studies. Time to take it to the next level and do what they say we could do, finish strong. Oh yeah, and to all the haters, nonbelievers and naysayers, I take all of your negative energy and turn it positive, so that you for noticing my accomplishments.

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I do it because of Hip-Hop

I’m back! I haven’t written a blog in a few months and think it’s due time that I express some of my thoughts with you. Yes, you!

As many of you know music is a very important part of my life, I cannot go a couple of hours without listening to a favorite artist or song. Music is with me everywhere I go, on my way to work, on my way to class, while doing homework and even at this very moment as I write this blog. I love all types of music, as long as there is seductive or head knocking beat and meaningful lyrics, but more specifically I love Hip-Hop music. My love for Hip-Hop is because I can relate on many different levels. I am Hip-Hop, mind, body & soul.

Hip-Hop is more than just a genre of music to me, it’s a way of life and more importantly it motivates me. Whenever I am feeling unproductive and I need a boost of energy I play a Hip-Hop track that inspires me to do what I need to do. For example, if I need a boost of energy while doing homework I may play the song “Go Getta” by Young Jeezy. “Go Getta” has a head nodding beat and a catchy hook, “trap all and play all night, this is the life of a go getta.” Although, Young Jeezy clearly makes numerous drug and fast life references throughout the song, that’s not what I relate to. I flip the true meaning of the song and interpret it to fit my lifestyle and situation. As a college student “Trap all day and play all night” can mean go to class and excel academically during the day, but at the same time enjoy the college experience and hangout with friends during the night. This is what the artist intends for listeners to do with their songs, relate it to themselves.

I have been interpreting Hip-Hop songs to fit my lifestyle and situations as long as I can remember. I remember back when I was in the 7th grade Jay-Z released the song “Change the Game” and at the end of the song he said a phrase that will always stand out to me, “I will not lose.” Ever since I heard that phrase at the end of the song, it became embedded in my memory. Whenever I wanted to conquer something I remember reciting the words “I will not lose” over and over in my mind. Me reciting “I will not lose” boosted my confidence and kept me motivated. Although I don’t recite those words anymore, there is no need to because “I will not lose” has become a part of my everyday life.

Hip-Hop motivates!!!

Young Jeezy – Go Getta

Jay – Z – Change the Game

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Spring ’10 Reflection…

I can reflect and write a blog now that I don’t have any assignments due and I’m not thinking about carbonyl compounds.

Finally, the spring semester of my sophomore year of college is over. It was a long and bumpy ride, but I completed it victoriously. I am happy of the semester’s events and wouldn’t change anything. I learned a lot about myself this semester. I learned to manage numerous activities, my social life and my academic life.  But, the most important thing that l learned this semester is that you need confidence in order to complete any difficult or challenging task.

“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started”
-Marcus Garvey

This semester was my most challenging semester academically, but with the support of all my wonderful friends I was able finish with my head up high. I built a stronger bond with my “brooooos” n “sis” and always had their attention when needed. Although, we may argue over whose better, or whose group had the best presentation, or even the whereabouts of one another I still consider you all my second family. You guys are there in the trenches with me when the “guns” need to be drawn and I’m the same for you guys and wouldn’t have it any other way. I have met many great people this semester and cannot wait until next semester to build strong relationships that should last a life time.

To my mentors, you guys have inspired me in ways unimaginable. When there was no more push or fight in me all I had to do was give one of you a call for a refill of energy.  Emdin, we don’t talk much, but you always catch me at a time when I need some much needed words of wisdom. JW, although I always have to make an appointment to talk to you, you always give me something new to consider and think about. Angle, you’re always reminding me to “go in” and sending me positive energy when needed. Thank you all for your positive influences and support. Next step is to take over the world.

Although the semester is over there’s still this concern that has me feeling like Drake. What if I don’t like up to all the expectations people have of me and that I have for myself? Part of me uses it as motivation to strive for success, but a small part of me worries everything isn’t going to go as planned. But, I don’t mind “I’m nervous but I’m about to kill it.”

What if I don’t really do the numbers they predict/considering the fact that I’m the one that they just picked/to write a chapter in history this shit has got me sick/….I’m nervous but I’m about to kill it cause they about to let the realist team in.

Drake “9 AM in Dallas Lyrics Freestyle”

Good Times of Spring ’10:



My RA Team!

Good Friends

“Your groups presentation was cool, but my group had the best presentation of ALL TIME”

How can you hate Plattsburgh? We have lepercons.

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Peace!

I’m off on my journey to the motherland (Ghana). I am excited to reconnect with my roots and have a good time. Besides, It’s cold in New York. I shall return with many pictures, stories and maybe some gifts. But for now I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Lessons Learned (Fall ’09)


The fall 2009 semester is finally over, midway through I thought I wouldn’t survive it. This was definitely a memorable semester with many lessons learned. The semester started off great on the social end, but as it continued I noticed my social life beginning to overshadow my academic life. It also didn’t make it any better that I was taking all major courses. Midway through the semester I became mildly depressed because the grades I was receiving weren’t up to my standards. A part of me began to give up on the semester and look forward to doing better in the spring semester. I began taking the L (loss) giving up on some assignments, even quizzes and exams. Then, I got very valuable advice. The advice was to focus all my energy on finishing the semester strong and do not think about the upcoming spring semester. My mind began to clear up and I recalled ADJAPONGS don’t give up. Got back on the grind and knocked out the last couple of weeks of classes and all my finals. I ended the semester strong and made organic chemistry my bitch, but I still wasn’t expecting my final grades to be as great as they were in the past. To my surprise I made the dean’s list ..again.. only thanks to the curve in my physics class, at least I was at the top of the curve. Hey I made it.
This semester I was focused on unimportant people, events and some drama which fueled my downfall. But I’m happy I experienced everything I did because it only makes me a stronger person. I can say I learned a lot about myself and the people around me this semester. Some may say my mouth gets me into trouble, but I beg to differ. If I said I meant it (sober of course). I know there are things I need to work on personally and through constant thought and reflection I am.
Next semester is going to be a challenging one and I have many goals to accomplish, but I’m ready and focused. Who’s stopping us?
Through it all I learned from many mistakes and have become a more rounded person.
“Ladies and Gentlemen/I ain’t trynna be politically correct/But I won’t rest till I’m givin my respect” – Wale (Triumph)

“All I got is dreams nobody else can see/Nobody else believes/Nobody else but me” – Jay – Z (History)

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