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The Scientific Process

  1. Aug 22, 2003 #1
    The "Scientific Process"

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to this forum, and I just want to start by saying that it's really great and I've gained a lot of knowledge and insight.

    I have a minor question regarding this so-called "scientific method" that is taught so often in K-12 schools and is usually the first thing mentioned (along with the measurement systems) in most textbooks.

    Is it really used? Do scientists who are conducting experiments and developing theories go through the scientific process checklist? I would think that to most people those steps would come naturally after experimenting. If this is true, then why do the teachers hand out worksheet after worksheet about it instead of having the student do experiments to develop the skills? Is this just bad teaching?

    Oh, I guess I will include a diagram of what I mean by this scientific method. Here is the one shown in Biology by Sylvia S. Mader, published my McGraw-Hill.

    The Scientific Process

    Observations ->
    Previous data ->
    Formulation of hypothesis ->
    Observations and/or experiments ->
    New data ->
    Conclusion -> (Go to hypothesis, or)

    That's not the best "diagram," but it illustrates the basic idea.

    Thank you,

    Mike Nolan
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2003 #2
    Sorry to swear to a possible youngster but if you're a scientist or attempting to discover any truth you damn well better use the scientific method.

    Absolutely every scientist interested in discovering truth uses it. I use it every single day and never break from it.

    Yes it becomes "second nature".

    What you described below is a great start.

    Why they don't have you do experiments is subject to the schools budget and the teachers interest.

    A teacher who could not possibly care less about your class experience will hand out flier after flier and never show you a damn thing themself.

    A teacher that has interest will take you through it in actuality.

    If you're in a public school (which I bet my life you are) this is the case.

    U.S. public schooling is truly tragically horrible.

    If you have any questions about science ask here please!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2003
  4. Aug 22, 2003 #3
    I just started bio. a few days ago at my high school. It's the first real science class I've had, and it seems GREAT! I'm really looking forward to it. I'll sign up at your forums, maybe I'll learn something. Eventually, I may even be able to teach others. :smile:

    Anyway, thanks for the answer. It's good to get answers from people who have experience.

    Mike Nolan
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
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