Process of Science > How to Teach the Process of Science > Integrating the Process into Readings

Integrating the Process into Readings

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This module was authored by Anne E. Egger, Stanford University, as part of a collaboration between Visionlearning and the SERC Pedagogic Service, and includes the products of a July 2009 workshop on Teaching the Process of Science.

Student reading
Most science textbooks have one chapter (at most) to introduce the scientific method at the beginning, and it is rarely well-integrated into the remainder of the text. Often, in fact, the scientific method portrayed does not truly reflect the way science works. If you want to integrate the process of science into your teaching, you may need to seek additional text resources that explicitly address the real process of science. Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate readings that emphasize the process of science:

Supplement content with texts specifically about the nature and process of science

If you already have a textbook that you use, you might think about supplementing this science content with readings specifically about the nature and process of science. You can use these to start discussions about how we know what we know within your content area.

Read the primary literature

Photo of journals
Although it can be challenging to introduce students to the primary literature, journal articles are our archive of the process of science. Helping students learn how to read journal articles is critical to incorporating them into your course.

Include news and events that involve recent scientific research

The news is full of science and scientific events, and incorporating current topics can help students see that science is not "done".

Incorporate stories about science and scientists into your content

Popular Science Books
"Stories" are what you might also call history and biography. Textbooks often present content as a set of facts to be learned rather than the product of many individual scientists building on each others' work over time. You can use stories to help students see that scientists are real people, and that the process of science involves lots of interactions between scientists, dead ends, unexpected events - in other words, it is interesting.

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