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UCMP has received funding from the National Science Foundation under grant #EAR-0624436 to develop a freely accessible website that will provide an accurate portrayal of the nature of science, as well as tools for teaching associated concepts.
The motivation for this project is based on research that indicates that students and teachers at all grade levels have inadequate understandings of the nature of science, which may be traced to classrooms where the nature of science is often taught as a simple, linear, and non-generative process. This is a false and impoverished depiction of science that disengages students, discourages public support, and may help explain current indications that the US is losing its global edge in science. Even beyond the health of the US economy, many arguments support a concerted effort to raise public understanding of science. The public has a genuine need to critically assess conflicting representations of "scientific" evidence in the media and to make decisions based on their assessment of these claims. To do this, they need to understand the strengths, limitations, and basic methods of the enterprise that has produced those claims. The Understanding Science project takes an important step towards this goal by providing teachers with tools to effectively teach the nature of science.
To learn more about this two-phased project, visit understandingscience.org. We will be updating this site with our progress and hope to debut the first components of Understanding Science in August 2007.
Understanding Evolution website grows in popularity
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