ENSI NOS LESSON MATRIX
Key Elements of the Nature of Science
(Click Here for PDF Version)

The Realm and Limits of Science:
Seeking Best Explanations, always Tentative to some degree
Its Assumptions and Rules
Only questions about the natural world, never the supernatural, as such
Only natural explanations allowed, never supernatural
Not questions of personal judgments, opinions, beliefs, views, choices, feelings or attitudes

Basic Processes of Science:
Forming and testing (challenging) hypotheses
Experimental Science (e.g., physics, chemistry, physiology, genetics)
Historical Sciences (e. g., astronomy, geology, paleontology, forensic and evolution science)

The Social Context of Science:
It’s Collaborative nature (including Publishing)
Its Biases and Preconceptions

ENSI NOS LESSONS - Their Respective Areas of Emphasis

Selected
ENSI NOS Lessons

Realm & Lim.

Basic
Process

Best
Explan.

Tenta-
tive

Social
Context

Bias

Historic
Science

Other Features

Flat Earth

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Magic Hooey Stick

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

“Magic!”

Sunsets, Souls, Senses

X

 

 

 

 

X*

 

 

Percep. Not Always Real.

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

T-illusion; Inquiry Guide

How’s Your Horoscope?

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

Pseudoscience

CONPTT

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

Find the Washer

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

Three-Hole Bottle

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

Great Volume Exchanger

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

“Magic!”

Becoming Whales

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Clues in predicted place

Great Fossil Find

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Oat Seed Lab

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

A model for inquiry

Mystery Boxes

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Palpating Pachyderms

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Sketch a Scientist

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

False Assumptions

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

Preconceptions

Crime Scene (Microchip)

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

Forensic science

A Crime Against Plants

 

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

Checks Lab

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Laetoli Trackway Puzzle

 

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

Therapeutic Touch (New)

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

Pseudoscience; placebo

Women’s Brains

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

Good Sci vs Bad Science

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

Quality of Science

Theory, Theory

X

 

 

 

X

X

X

Emotional influences?

  1. Lessons in Bold Face are most highly recommended for minimum experiences with NOS.
  2. Great Fossil Find could substitute for Checks Lab (especially in lower grades, Life or Earth Science).
  3. False Assumptions makes a good “sponge” activity with revealing insights about preconceptions.
  4. The Oat Seed and Perception Not Always Reality labs are open-ended Inquiries
  5. The Oat Seed lab has detailed instructions intended to help model an inquiry and its reporting.
  6. The Mystery Boxes lesson is a useful additional lab to reinforce the Checks Lab.
  7. Note the lessons that exemplify the “Historical” sciences, (e.g., geology, paleontology, astronomy)
    be sure to point this out when doing any of those lessons.