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Scientific Attitudes

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					 Scientific Attitudes
              Dr. Frank Jenkins
  Centre for Research in Youth
Science Teaching and Learning
Scientific Attitudes
   scientific attitudes are predispositions (tendency,
    inclination, mental set or habit of mind) to think and
    act in a certain way—approaches that define
    “scientific” & “scientist”
       e.g., studied by Dr. Marshall Nay and James Kozlow in
        Secondary Education in the 1970s
   different from attitudes toward or about science
    (e.g., not, “I like (or don’t like) science.”)
   see www.CRYSTALAlberta.ca and then Outreach,
    Scientific Reasoning Text and Scientific Attitudes


                       Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   2
Scientific Attitudes                          (1-4)

1.   critical mindedness (looks for consistency
     and challenges the validity of statements)
2.   suspended judgment (recognizes the
     restricted nature of evidence and concepts)
3.   respect for evidence (looks for evidence
     through an empirical approach)
4.   honesty (reports all evidence and
     acknowledges the work of others)

                 Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   3
Scientific Attitudes                          (5-8)

5.   objectivity (considers pros and cons and all
     of the evidence available—unbiased)
6.   willingness to change (alters hypotheses,
     assumptions, technologies and methods)
7.   openmindedness (considers several
     possible alternatives when investigating)
8.   questioning attitude (asks many questions:
     how, what, who, where, when and why?)

                 Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   4
Other Scientific Attitudes
9.   tolerance of uncertainty (rejection of certainty)
    curiosity
    looking to be creative
    appreciation for beauty
    appreciation for complexity
    appreciation of unity (synthesis of concepts)
    perseverance

                  Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   5
Scientific Attitudes
   Scientific attitudes have been described as
    what is left after everything else has been
    forgotten; e.g., what is left from your
    chemistry, physics and biology courses.
   Scientific attitudes can be applied to many
    different parts of your life including, for
    example, democratic decisions, reading the
    newspaper, and discussions with friends.

                 Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   6
Technological & Societal
Technological Attitudes                  Societal Attitudes
 perseverance                            tolerance

 confidence in self                      commitment

 critical mindedness                     respect

 creative disposition                    confidence

 confidence in                           vigilance
  technological fixes                     appreciation
 appreciation for                        understanding
  alternative perspectives

                  Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   7
Applying Scientific Attitudes
Learning of concepts, such as scientific
  attitudes, generally go through the stages of
  awareness, understanding and action. Think
  of what action components might apply to:
 discussing the behaviour of a friend

 discussing climate change

 discussing health care

 discussing politics

                Frank Jenkins, CMASTE and CRYSTAL Alberta   8

				
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