NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ784008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Giving Up the Ghost: An Allegory for Teaching Scientific Method
Plotkin, Michael
American Biology Teacher, v65 n6 p425-429 Aug 2003
The practice of science has been characterized as the systematic application of common sense. This view, frequently held by scientists themselves, holds that the same qualities that allow pre-industrial societies, pioneers, cast-aways, and common folk everywhere to cope with their environment and prosper also make for good scientists. However, many students (especially those with poor scientific backgrounds) do not share this view. A goal of any science curriculum should be to educate students about the process of science as well as its contents. In this article, the author presents a simple but effective allegory that teachers can use to help students understand the value and application of science. This allegory is used with students majoring in science, but is also found to be useful for introducing science to nonscience majors, since it does not refer to science specifically, requires no scientific background, and addresses some of the key issues students must grapple with when asked to think scientifically. (Contains 1 table.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive #110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A