Using the Science Reasoning Center

Suggestions for Use

The content at the Science Reasoning Center is intended to be used to address the process and reasoning skills associated with physics. Each document consists of a reading passage accompanied by a collection of questions. Very little prerequisite physics knowledge is required to answer the questions. When a definition or principle is required to answer a question, it is stated within the passage. The questions require that students engage in effective reading and reasoning in order to answer the questions. The passages generally (1) present data in the form of graphs, tables and diagrams, (2) describe experimental research and the associated findings, and (3) describe physical models that explain specific phenomenon. Questions target a student's ability to take information in the passage and reason towards conclusions that are consistent with the data presentation, the research summaries and the model descriptions.

There are a variety of ways in which this content can be used within the classroom. The passages can be assigned as homework or done as class work. They can be used as mere practice or used as assessments. They can be used as introduction to a topic, as a post-lab activity, as closure to a particular topic, or even as an enrichment activity. They can be included within the learning curriculum or inserted as part of a unit test. Regardless of how the passages are used, it is important that teachers recognize that they are not intended to develop conceptual knowledge of physics or to assess physics understanding. Rather, they are intended to cultivate and assess science reasoning skills. The specific skills that are targeted by the passages are described elsewhere.

Acceptable Uses

The Physics Classroom has created the Science Reasoning Center for teachers to use with their classes. As such, it is fully expected that teachers will print and duplicate the PDF documents for use with their students. Permission to print and copy the PDF files is granted to teachers, provided that the copyright statement (found at the bottom of the page) is included on the copies. Inclusion of a PDF within a teacher's existing curriculum is also granted provided that either the copyright statement (found at the bottom of the page) is included OR that the URL is somewhere referenced as a source from somewhere within the curriculum. Similarly, use of the PDFs by teachers on tests and other assessments is allowed (and intended).

Unacceptable Uses

Like all content at The Physics Classroom website, there is no intent to ever remove the pages or charge for use of the content. It is offered free of charge to any student or teacher that wishes to use it. As owners of the copyright to this material, we forbid the placement of the content at any other online website. Downloading and uploading the content to any other electronic server is strictly forbidden. The inclusion of the content within the pages of other websites with different domain names is also forbidden. Any efforts by others to use the content at the Science Reasoning Center as part of a for-profit project is forbidden and punishable by law.