Galileo: Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences
Galileo sets out to explain superficial observations about uniform motion and naturally accelerated motion through the use of mathematical ratios involving distance, speed, and time. Through the use of his three characters, Sagredo, Salviati, and Simplicio, Galileo uses various thought experiments and diagrams to prove the physics behind uniform motion, free-falling objects, and maintaining heavy bodies in positional equilibrium.
- · Science as a dialogue: Galileo uses various characters and perspectives to provide the reader with an insight into the process of how he is reaching his conclusions.
- · Thought experiments: Galileo’s science relies on detailed and carefully crafted scenarios that can be reasonably observed in real life. However, this is very different from science as we typically imagine it (as seen by the lack of numerical data, replicable trial runs, etc.).
Lehrer: Developing Disciplinary Dispositions
Lehrer stresses the importance of mimicking a discipline’s epistemic culture (acquiring the skills required for learning in each discipline) in the teaching of that discipline. In science, he suggests that modeling and experimental design can help achieve this goal. By learning what is considered valid for proving your knowledge in the field of sciences, students can gain an aptitude and appreciation for the realities of science.
- · Learning as action: By participating in the realities of the field in the classroom (via the intersection of various materials, tasks, and inscriptions), students will learn about the culture of learning in the sciences.
- · Revision and inventing: By allowing students to invent and edit existing natural models, the students will be able to interact with the systematic approach of science learning.
Hazen and Trefil: Science Matters
This excerpt defines science as a way to explain the laws that govern the natural world. By analyzing the earliest applications of science and tracing the development of the field of science throughout the ages, the authors demonstrate how the field of science is constantly evolving. However, its purpose in explaining natural phenomena and applying these explanations to everyday life, has remained a constant identifier through centuries.
- · Evolution of science: The authors use the example of Newton’s laws to illustrate how preconceived notions of motion could be overturned through observations and experimentation.
- · Interdisciplinary nature of science: Although there are highly numerous scientific specialties, research from one field and influence and explain phenomena in another field.
Overall, these readings described how even throughout centuries of scientific observation and experimentation, similar problems and goals remain relevant today. One key component of scientific inquiry is improving on existing theories and editing models of natural phenomena. This is displayed through Galileo’s and Hazen & Trefil’s discussions the evolution of experimental science and its role in modifying previously accepted scientific truths, which establishes science as a field that constantly innovates. Lehrer similarly discusses the importance of revising and inventing existing models of scientific discovery, and helps shed light on how this tenet of scientific epistemic culture can be incorporated and normalized into the teaching of the STEM disciplines.