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Evidence-based Decision-making

Evidence-based Decision-making

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.

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Essential Understanding

The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions.

Science Background

Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Serve Center (website) - Ideas and strategies to help educators incorporate evidence-based decision-making into their own teaching and improve student motivation and achievement.

Evidence-Based Decision-Making
Learn NC, www.serve.org

Signature Lesson

Introduction to Experimental Design: Learn NC (website) - Students learn and use experimental design vocabulary and develop critical thinking skills by reading an experiment description, analyzing the information provided, and applying empirical evidence and logic to answer questions about the experiment design and outcomes.

Introduction to Experimental Design
Learn NC, www.learnnc.org

Supporting Lessons

The Case of the Missing Computer Chip: Indiana University (website) - Students attempt to resolve a simulated crime by analyzing clues and evaluating evidence.

The Case of the Missing Computer Chip
Indiana University, www.indiana.edu

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Bias Sampling: Science NetLinks (website) - Students learn that data gathered during a scientific study can be biased or unusable if the methodology is flawed. Includes assessment and extensions.

Bias Sampling
Science NetLinks, www.sciencenetlinks.com

Assessment Ideas

Have student groups design and conducts tests to compare two or three brands of the same commercial product. Then have each student write a paper that uses evidence collected during the test to identify the best product among those considered.

Literature Connections

Building Thinking Skills. Parks, Sandra (ISBN-13: 978-1601441492)

Crime Scene Detective. Schulz, Karen (ISBN-13: 978-1593630638)

Related Science TEKS

(4.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking well-defined questions, making inferences, and selecting and using appropriate equipment or technology to answer his/her questions.

(4.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect and record data by observing and measuring, using the metric system, and using descriptive words and numerals such as labeled drawings, writing, and concept maps.

(4.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts                    
The student is expected to construct simple tables, charts, bar graphs, and maps using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate data.

(4.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain                          
The student is expected to analyze data and interpret patterns to construct reasonable explanations from data that can be observed and measured.

(4.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments                
The student is expected to perform repeated investigations to increase the reliability of results.

(4.2F) Communicate Conclusions                
The student is expected to communicate valid, oral, and written results supported by data.

(4.3C) Develop a Model             
The student is expected to represent the natural world using models such as rivers, stream tables, or fossils and identify their limitations, including accuracy and size

(4.4) Science Tools                  
The student knows how to use a variety of tools, materials, equipment, and models to conduct science inquiry.

(4.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information              
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors, spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(4.4B) Safety Equipment                
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

4.11A  The student is expected to estimate and use measurement tools to determine length (including perimeter), area, capacity and weight/mass using standard units SI (metric) and customary.

4.11B   The student is expected to perform simple conversions between different units of length, between different units of capacity, and between different units of weight within the customary measurement system.

4.11C   The student is expected to use concrete models of standard cubic units to measure volume.

4.11D  The student is expected to estimate volume in cubic units.

4.11E   The student is expected to explain the difference between weight and mass.

4.12A  The student is expected to use a thermometer to measure temperature and changes in temperature.

4.12B   The student is expected to use tools such as a clock with gears or a stopwatch to solve problems involving elapsed time.

4.13A  The student is expected to use concrete objects or pictures to make generalizations about determining all possible combinations of a given set of data or of objects in a problem situation.

4.13B   The student is expected to interpret bar graphs.

4.14A  The student is expected to identify the mathematics in everyday situations.

4.14B   The student is expected to solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness.

4.14C   The student is expected to select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, acting it out, making a table, working a simpler problem, or working backwards to solve a problem.

Additional Resources

Critical Thinking and Reflection: Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (website) - Links to quality resources that can help teachers assess and develop students’ critical thinking and reflection skills.

Critical Thinking and Reflection
Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, www.learnhigher.ac.uk

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