ERIC Number: ED437108
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Teaching the Methodology of Science: The Utilization of Microbial Model Systems for Biometric Analysis.
Adamo, Joseph A.
Students set in their ways are usually reluctant, as a general rule, to deal with open-ended investigative scenarios. In order to acquaint the student with the physical method and philosophical thought process of the discipline, the tone of the course must be set early on. The present study was conducted to develop scenarios and microbial model systems that would allow the student to apply biostatistical analyses to their work. Calibrated microscopes were used to measure the lengths and widths of replicated samples of various species of bacteria. These data were used to compute means, modes, medians, ranges, variances, standard deviations, and to establish frequency distributions and correlation coefficients. The use of biometric analyses introduced the student to the reality of scientific thought, allowing the novice student to appreciate scientific methodology on a whole new quantitative level. Findings show that students, once willing to accept the challenge, are stimulated and get excited when they settle into the practice of science. When the student is exposed to the way research unfolds in a laboratory or when they replicate a historic experiment, they seem to get a sense of belonging to a special group, "coming of age," which is the beginning of a true understanding of the discipline. (Contains 13 references.) (VWC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. (Chicago, IL, May 30-June 3, 1999). In: Issues of Education at Community Colleges: Essays by Fellows in the Mid-Career Fellowship Program at Princeton University, 1998-1999; see JC 000 068.