ERIC Number: ED361655
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Anomalous Data in Knowledge Acquisition: A Theoretical Framework and Implications for Science Instruction. Technical Report No. 583.
Chinn, Clark A.; Brewer, William F.
Noting that understanding how science students respond to anomalous data is essential to understanding knowledge acquisition in science classrooms, this paper presents a detailed analysis of the ways in which scientists and science students respond to anomalous data. The paper postulates seven distinct forms of response to anomalous data: ignoring the anomalous data; rejecting the data; excluding the data from current theory; holding the data in abeyance; reinterpreting the data; making peripheral changes to the current theory; and changing the theory. The paper analyzes the factors that influence which of the seven forms of response a scientist or student will choose, giving special attention to the factors that make theory change more likely. Finally, the paper discusses the implications of the framework for science instruction, and considers that the analysis holds promise for areas of education other than science instruction. Tables listing the features of each of the seven responses to anomalous data, factors that influence how people respond to anomalous data, and instructional strategies for promoting reflective theory change are included. Contains 289 references. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.