The Physics Classroom Science Reasoning Center
The Science Reasoning Center provides teachers with a collection of teacher-friendly and classroom-ready activities for cultivating and assessing students' ability to reason scientifically. The activities are worksheets that consist of reading passages accompanied by questions. The worksheets are organized by the physics topics shown below. The passages and accompanying questions engage students in a variety of types of tasks. These tasks fall into the broad categories of interpreting data, analyzing experiments, and evaluating models and theories.
The development of science reasoning skills is an essential aspect of an effective science education. Most physics teachers will quickly agree that our courses involve more than the dispensing of knowledge. As physics teachers, we strive to encourage the growth of a variety of process skills. For instance, the understanding of Newton's second law may be the end of an activity in which we analyze force-mass-acceleration data. Yet the means to that end - analyzing and interpreting data in order to determine a numerical pattern - is justifiable in and of itself. The Science Reasoning Center provides teachers with a large collection of activities that can be used to intentionally target many different process and reasoning skills. The activities have been motivated by ACT's College Readiness Standards (CRS). These standards define a collection of science reasoning skills that are at the core of an effective science education. Additional information about the philosophy behind this section of the website and ideas for its usage in the classroom are available on other pages.
This section of The Physics Classroom website will eventually be accompanied by a Resource CD that is designed to provide teachers with an even wider repertoire of tools for cultivating and assessing science reasoning skills. More information about the Resource CD is available elsewhere on this site. The Resource CD is currently under production. It is projected that the CD will be available sometime during the spring or summer of 2013.