What is the Nature of Science?
For children, an important part of learning science is learning about its nature (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993, pp. 3–7). Simply, science is an attempt to understand the world by
- questioning, investigating, and observing what happens;
- trying to make sense of our observations;
- using our new knowledge to make predictions about what might happen in the future; and
- testing our predictions to see if our understanding is correct (Paulu & Martin, 1991).
Doing science can be as simple as one individual conducting field studies or as complex as hundreds of people across the world working on a major scientific problem. Whatever the circumstances or level of complexity, scientists are likely to work from some common assumptions, have some common goals, and use some common procedures.
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