Thinking about thinking and knowing

To  become a scientist, health-care professional, engineer, or scientifically literate citizen, you need to go beyond seeing science as a set of "known facts" or even as a set of "tools and processes" that you might pull out and run automatically without thinking. You have to begin to see science as a way of knowing.  And to understand that, it helps to understand something about the nature of scientific knowledge and something about how your mind works. Read these next two sections and the links that elaborate their basic ideas.

A lot of what we do in this class is designed to help you improve your awareness of the skills, capabilities, and competencies that you need to build on your path to understand science's way of knowing.

To help you keep track of these competencies, we introduce a series of knowing-how-we-know icons that identify various general purpose tools for "learning to think like a scientist." They are described on the page linked below. The icons will appear throughout the class to help you get a sense of the different methods for thinking and knowing that we are trying to help you develop.

Joe Redish 7/3/11

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Last Modified: March 11, 2019