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Concept of Discovery

Discovery places a value on students' contacts with the world around them and how they interact with it. It relies on students' natural curiosity about the world and utilizes their ability to make sense of the things they touch, taste, or smell. It implies direct contacts with the world, a way of manipulating those contacts to form recognizable patterns, and developing structures for making sense of newly discovered information.

Processes of Discovery:

  • Observing

    Observing is the process of paying attention to one's surroundings through the primary senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. It is the source of knowledge that humans employ most. Students enhance their scientific skills when they use observation in tandem with other processes such as predicting and experimenting. In order for this to occur, students need opportunities to evaluate and question their observational skills. Through these reflective experiences, students gain a sense of the importance of this process.

  • Classifying

    Classifying is the process of grouping concepts, elements, or items that share a basic relationship. As new ideas are encountered, they are added to the previously established groups based on the shared characteristics. The process of classifying enhances scientific comprehension as it provides students opportunities to connect prior knowledge with new information.

  • Measuring

    Measuring is an intrinsic scientific process as it yields information necessary for all other processes of scientific inquiry. It is a means of providing hard data for the purpose of confirming hypotheses and making predictions. For obvious reasons, information gathered during this process must be accurate and specific. Measuring is a valid process for making comparisons in definite terms regarding size, weight, and quantity.

  • Inferring

    Inferring is the process of making an informed guess based on provided knowledge and information, which is an often time minimal at best. There are two types of inferring. One is deductive which means going from general to specific, and the other is inductive which involves moving from specific to general. This process requires students to have a sufficient background of personal experiences, as well as encouragement, in order to draw tentative conclusions and explanations.


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