Making use of evidence from past or present

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making use of evidence from past or present experience in stating what may happen explicitly using patterns in evidence to interpolate or extrapolate justify a statement about what will happen or be found in terms of present evidence or past experience showing caution in making assumptions about a pattern applying beyond the range of evidence distinguishing a prediction from a guess h) Proposing hypotheses This is the skill of making a general explanation for a related set of observations or events. It is an extension of inferring. When hypothesising, the suggested explanation need not be correct, but it should be reasonable in terms of the evidence available and possible in terms of scientific concepts or principles. So proposing hypotheses includes: suggesting an explanation which is consistent with the evidence suggesting an explanation which is consistent with some scientific principle or concept applying previous knowledge in attempting to give an explanation realising that there can be more than one possible explanation of an event or phenomenon realising the tentative nature of any explanation
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i) Interpreting data Interpreting the data produced in the course of the activities is part-and-parcel of the whole process of science. There is little in the course which requires mathematical skills of any complexity, graph interpretation being probably the most frequent. It is important that all evidence available is considered rather than using only preconceived ideas based on experience. Thus the skill of interpreting includes: making interpretations related to data (rather than to preconceived ideas) even if only loosely making interpretations based on all available data checking interpretations against new data interpreting explicitly based on patterns or relationships j) Controlling variables This skill involves keeping all-but-one variable constant so as to ‘make experiments fair’. In the early units, the emphasis is on experiments where a single variable is prominent (e.g. with the living things in Unit 2 -’ What happens when we do this ...?’). Later on, problems involving several variables are examined (e.g. evaporation experiments in Unit 5). In the teaching and learning of the above skills, efforts should initially be directed at teaching explicitly each of the skills through the use of appropriate activities, and then finally helping students integrate some or all of these skills in experimenting and carrying out investigations. When selecting investigations for teaching purposes it is useful to have a clear understanding of the demands of different investigations. The investigations chosen should neither be too simple nor too complex for students, while the learning objectives embedded within the tasks should be easily identifiable. Some of the points to be considered in choosing an investigative activity are as follows: a) The context in which the investigation is set
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  • Winter '16
  • Science, Education Department

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