Galileo uses a ‘dialogue’ between three men to illustrate the idea of and initial misunderstandings with uniform and accelerated motion. Through Salviati, Galileo demonstrates the relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration using a variety of examples. Simplicio shares common misunderstandings and allows Sagredo and Salviati to explain why Galileo’s argument is sound. Galileo makes a precise stepwise argument with clear definitions and thorough explanations to avoid confusion. These kinds of ‘dialogues’ between students still exist in modern science; this ‘dialogue’ reminds me of students collaborating and discussing possible ideas behind a scientific concept. The ‘dialogue’ could just as well be concerning theories of DNA replication or the relationship between a protein’s structure and its function. With respect to Lehrer, it is interesting to wonder how these ‘dialogues’ can fit into a lesson embedded with scientific inquiry. Student collaboration can and should be an essential part of student inquiry, which can be accomplished in a group setting.Thinking in the future when I will be teaching, it is necessary to mirror Galileo’s clear arguments in my future lessons. Student understanding requires arguments with clear definitions and thorough explanations between each logical step. Without these criteria for lessons met, students are likely to fall into common traps of misconceptions that could have been avoided with deliberate and careful instruction.
Hazen & Trefil:
Hazen and Trefil outline the discoveries of some great scientific minds, from Newton to Kepler, and how these different scientists influenced each other across time and space. I find it fascinating how each scientist built upon the ideas and discoveries of the last to lead to Einstein’s ultimate revelation of the general theory of relativity. I also find it interesting to think of how science is socially situated. Hazen and Trefil mention how science provide definite quantitative knowledge, but it cannot be denied that many other disciplines, from literature to music, offer knowledge, albeit of a qualitative type.With respect to Galileo, it would be very helpful for student understanding to design and implement an experiment of student inquiry that investigates a principle investigated possibly hundreds of years ago by great scientific minds such as Newton and Galileo. It would be interesting to design an experiment for students to derive or at least contemplate the laws of motion or gravity in the context of their discovery, i.e. trying to forget all modern knowledge of these now explained phenomenon. In the future, I recognize that it will be important to teach the history of notable biological discoveries, from the discovery of the microscope and the first microscopic organisms to the elucidation of DNA structure.
Lehrer argues that the goal of school is to create an environment in which learners can be actively engage in the types of practices that practicing scientists use in daily life, including modeling and inquiry based learning. This view of the goal of school creates a situation dependent on the teacher’s ability to lead and design student inquiry based lessons and experiments. This school goal also heavily favors kinesthetic learners while leaving auditory and visual learners at a possible disadvantage. As a future teacher, I plan to be able to design effective experiments that promote student inquiry and to teach biology with representational models and analogies. It is important that I remember that learning is a lifelong goal that I can continue by developing professionally and by learning from other teachers and students. Although science isn’t often taught with engagement to inquiry and rather often taught in its final form in more traditional lectures, I plan to involve a healthy mixture of both forms of education in my future classroom.