An Eloquent Description of Science and Wonder

As I gathered information for this book, I was continually reminded of the reality that science, rooted as it is in the certainties of the physical world, is a process that necessarily unfolds over time. In school, science classes tend to work according to this linear model; there's a “beginning, middle, and end” to science investigations, no matter how hard teachers may fight the “cookbook” reductionism that threatens true scientific inquiry. Yet, in probing further, I came to understand that science cannot be defined in terms of a sequence. Science is recursive. It might be described as having a cyclical nature with a twist—spiraling upward, looking back on itself, and changing as necessary. Thus, scientists—and ideally, students in science class—continually look back on what they have observed, analyzed, and evaluated to see whether their conclusions still make sense or raise new questions to pursue.

These processes of wondering, questioning, predicting, observing, and data gathering can lead to one person's flash of insight, the “aha!” that cuts through the seeming tedium of the processes themselves. Such revelations can be as lofty as Einstein's equation of mass with energy or as humble as the realization that those painful burrs pricking through your jeans on the playground are in fact seeds.


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 The Essentials of Science, Grades K-6
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Allen, Rick (2006-12-15), The Essentials of Science, Grades K-6, ASCD, Retrieved on 2014-11-17
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  • Folksonomies: education