Teaching Science Students How to Think

Bonnie McBain, Andrew Yardy, Frances Martin, Liam Phelan, Ian van Altena, Jill McKeowen, Claire Pemberton, Hollie Tose, Lindsey Fratus, Michael Bowyer

Abstract


Scientific thinking is more than just critical thinking. Teaching the full range of ways to think like a scientist who practices high quality science is rare. A new core subject in the Bachelor of Science at the University of Newcastle was developed to allow students to explore six different ways to thinking scientifically through understanding what high-quality science is and contrasting it with poor science and non-science (pseudoscience). Our evaluation indicates that learning about how to think scientifically and be a scientist who practices high quality science is a skill that is valued by and relevant to first year undergraduate students. An evidence-based pedagogy including active learning, participatory learning, student-centred learning, constructive alignment and quality formative and summative feedback to students can support high learning outcomes.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30722/IJISME.28.02.003