Describing a continuum for inquiry
September 8th, 2009 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.
from philipmartin.info

from philipmartin.info

I began teaching a new graduate class last Thursday and have been remiss to post about the experience.  I will be using this blog as a reflective medium after class, open to my students, so we can communicate about teaching and learning.  I continue to consider this blog an important Web 2.0 tool to allow asnchronous discussion, discourse, and learning to take place.

I spent time talking about my view of the so-called “scientific method,” a philosophy, I feel is riddled with fallacies about the way science is actually done.  Below is a sample that I have written regarding it and applications in the science classroom in terms of problem finding.  I think it illustrates my disdain:

An underlying problem with the Osborne-Parnes and Firestien and Treffinger creative problem solving models is the assumed linearity. Although Firestien and Treffinger do not support linearity of their model, it has previously been presented that way, and the flexibility of the model is therefore often obscured in classroom application. In fact only recently has an alternative more open model been presented (Treffinger, Isaksen, & Dorval, 2005). Similar to the so-called scientific method taught irresponsibly in many science classrooms, these models purport a starting and endpoint with a clear step-by-step progression. However, the idiosyncratic nature of science and creativity suggest that such a methodology might only serve the misplaced pedagogical needs of a teacher, and not be truly representative of the actual asynchronous routes that individuals traverse during the problem finding process.

I think, as thoughtful educators we need to consider entry points to learning and how we can develop many aspects of student strategies to (a) problem finding (i.e., creative thinking) and (b) problem solving (i.e., logical/analytical thinking).  When we are more open to varied and diverse thinking strategies, we provide our students with better learning opportunities.

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