NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ796490
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Learning to Question: The Roles of Multiple Hypotheses, Successive Approximations, Balloons and Toilet Paper in University Science Programs of Southwestern Amazonia
Brown, I. Foster
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v17 n3 p236-241 Jun 2008
Learning to question is essential for determining pathways of conservation and development in southwestern Amazonia during a time of rapid global environmental change. Teaching such an approach in graduate science programs in regional universities can be done using play-acting and simulation exercises. Multiple working hypotheses help students learn to question their own research results and expert witnesses. The method of successive approximations enables students to question the results of complex calculations, such as estimates of forest biomass. Balloons and rolls of toilet paper provide means of questioning two-dimensional representations of a three-dimensional Earth and the value of pi. Generation of systematic errors can illustrate the pitfalls of blind acceptance of data. While learning to question is essential, it is insufficient by itself; students must also learn how to be solutionologists in order to satisfy societal demands for solutions to environmental problems. A little irreverence can be an excellent didactic tool for helping students develop the skills necessary to lead conservation and development efforts in the region.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A