Bringing N.O.S to the class

As a future science educator there are key tenets that define the Nature of Science, which should be incorporated into the classroom. By making students aware of the Nature of Science and engaging them in these main features, they are able to build upon both their knowledge and understanding of science. Our most recent Methods class focused on bringing the Nature of Science to the classroom. We were asked if in the past week we brought to the students’ attention a moment that reflected the Nature of Science. We were then asked if it was planned. Since we didn’t get to share out to the whole group, I would like to hear some of your experiences and I will share mine.

In my placement last week, I built upon an original lab that would be implemented to the students. I added my own twist to the Post- Lab Questions by having students provide evidence from their lab that supported their answers. In a particular class a couple of students were hesitant about having to provide evidence. They wondered why I had added “extra work” to their lab. I saw the opportunity and embraced it. I gave the class a scenario. I asked them this: If you were really sick with the flu and had two options on medicine to buy, which one would you choose? Would you buy something that simply says “this will make you feel better?” Or, would you buy something that states, “in a study of 100 people, 80 people were relieved from flu symptoms within 24 hours, and all showed improvement within 48 hours?” When nods started occurring and understanding swept across the students’ faces, I told the class “Statements are more powerful with evidence.” They all agreed. I then brought in the Nature of Science and discussed how explanations in science need to be supported by evidence to be accepted. After that unexpected side lesson on a component of the Nature of Science, the students didn’t bring up having to do the “extra work” again.

5 thoughts on “Bringing N.O.S to the class”

  1. I like the medicine example… it really sounds like you were able to discuss an aspect of the nature of science in a language that your learners could understand and relate to! Before break we learned about the muscular and skeletal systems. I had some images from the body worlds exhibit and I didn’t think they would spark as much student interest as they did. The students were fascinated that this was a real exhibit that they could go and visit. They were so interested in how the different body structures were made and many of them kept asking me if they really were real bodies. It was definitely an unplanned nature of science moment but that will help me plan to directly include the nature of science in my lessons.

    1. Agreed!!! Love the medicine example, and to be honest I never really thought of it through that lens. I wonder what other examples outside of medicine would make the same level of impact for the students? Sports might provide a decent examples but I don’t think you get the same clear response that you did with your flu remedy.

  2. Jill, thank you for sharing. I’m starting to really see how interested students get when you share things like that with them. Today, when we were doing a phase change lab I showed them a video of a billboard in Lima, Peru that takes water from the air and turns it into potable water. They absolutely LOVED it.

    Jess, sports would be great too! Like, which basketball shoes to buy or something along those lines. Or gatorade vs. water.

  3. I love that example! I don’t think I could have come up with it on the spot like that! I hear a lot of complaints about extra work, and am likely to use that example some day!

    I’ve been talking a lot about there being no one right answer, especially in light of environmental decisions, and a person having to defend his/her answer to convince others.

  4. Tiarra,

    I am SO happy that you continue to reflect on NOS and your classroom. I cannot say enough the importance of giving students examples and making meaning for them in their daily lives. When students see the relevancy in what we teach them the true magic happens!


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