A Candle Lights the Way to Scientific Discourse
Li-hsuan Yang Jul/Aug 2007 Journal of College Science Teaching v. 36, issue 7, p. 56-57
This short article describes a simple and thought-provoking teaching strategy, burning a candle in the classroom and asking students to observe it and try to explain the processes they observe. The result is that students are able to engage in scientific discourse, hold competing hypotheses, look for supporting evidence, communicate their ideas with supportive arguments, and propose possible empirical studies to further their understanding. This technique could be applied to a geoscience classroom via simple demonstrations with physical models, videos or rock samples.