Posts filed under ‘Critical Thinking’

Truth, Science and Fake News

Here’s what we did today in the wake of this:

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And also, let’s be honest, because trying to get across the importance of using reliable sources and evidence is one of the hardest concepts and skills to teach. Something that might help keep democracy working.

Here’s what worked so well today that we were stunned when the bell went. So interesting to hear their thoughts about all this.

1. What is ‘truth’? Are there different kinds of truth? Why does truth matter? How is science related to truth? Similies? Opposites? Is it good or bad? When? Examples of useful truths and destructive lies. Write on your whiteboard. Share out in a ‘Socrates Seminar’

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2. Write about truth for 5 minutes in your journal.

3. Look up ‘truth’ on Wikipedia. Translate to simple English. How does it compare to what you wrote?

4. Read about fake news. Pick any of these:

5. Answer at least a couple of these questions in your journal:

  • What is ‘fake news’? Why is it created?
  • What was the most surprising ‘fake news’ you found? What was so surprising?
  • Why do people write, believe and spread fake news?
  • How can you tell if news or information is fake or reliable?
  • Why is fake news such an important issue in society right now?  What are hallmarks of reliable, evidence-based information?
  • What can you and your friends do to improve the amount of real news shared on social media?

6. Discuss what you learned about the importance of evidence-based information in science and in society. (And therefore why it’s important to use and cite reliable sources!)

December 2, 2016 at 12:47 PM Leave a comment

Cool School Survey

Noticing patterns in data is a story – the initial ‘set’ is the experimental question. The data has hidden in it the resolution, at least partially. Like a joke with a set, an expected outcome and the sudden switch to something that is incongruous and yet makes sense. Unexpected truth looked at in a different way: why scientists are so fascinated is at least in a way, similar to reading a compelling and complex story that in science, never really ends.

Continue Reading September 30, 2016 at 9:18 AM Leave a comment

The Cool Box Comp.

How wrap up the cool shoe box competition: data collection and analysis with a minimum of time wasting frustration…

Continue Reading September 26, 2016 at 12:46 PM Leave a comment

PBL: From Tinkering to Thinking

How we are trying to ensure the solar oven challenge results in students learning some science along with how to fool around with foil and duct tape.

Continue Reading September 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM Leave a comment

Getting started with notebooks in science

The Common Core hits science, aaarrrrggghhhh…. or is it (shhh) not so bad? 

Continue Reading August 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM Leave a comment

Engaging students in rigorous research

Those words have often not gone together – engagement, rigor and research. But finally, they are for most students most of the past week or so, with the new and improved Take Action Project. I’m excited to share the activities and pictures with you.

Continue Reading May 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM Leave a comment

The Take Action Project 2.0 is a go: Pick an Action.

I’ll be posting the new Take Action Project in parts, after Marshall and I actually teach it. So far, we have managed to fan initial student interest in environmental issues as they choose what to do and start a little light research. It’s a balancing act between student choice, rigor and unmanageable chaos. So far, so fun, for us as well as our classes.

Continue Reading April 27, 2014 at 11:28 AM Leave a comment

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