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How to Act Like a Scientist

Updated on May 13, 2014

Grading curves

There has never been a time where so much learning is required just to sit on a chair.

In the near past, we don't generally get sea sick when using a certain computational tool, but now we practically need new tools and new gadgets just to use our favorite operating system.

Now we need to understand the anatomy of app design just to water our plant.

Yet the grading curves we have been using from the days when our great, great grandparents were in school remains the same.

Generally, A is reserved for the top 10 %, B the next 10%, C the next 60%, and D and F the remaining 20%.

Supportive learning environment

Science is one of the subjects where teachers actually expect a relatively higher drop-out and failure rates.

Just think about it for a sec.

We are expecting our students to attend large lectures that are mostly un-engaging and are highly competitive.

Our lectures start and attention spans are put to the test. One or two particularly expressive and active ones may get the chance to perform and ask questions.

And we don't really expect any further interactions outside of group works.

The reward they will ultimately get is grading on a curve.

Supportive learning environments and skills

There are six necessary learning conditions to be met for a supportive learning environment to be fully present.

Quality of instruction needs to remain high and intelligent enough to be followed.

Teacher's interest should be maintained at supporting the learning environment needed for scientific success.

The next is social relatedness among students of the class.

There should be support of competence and support of autonomy. Without these two, even the top 10% will have a hard time.

The next two conditions are to engender self-motivation and encourage self-directed learning.

What is in that collage?

A collage of neon signage collected from various places on the historic route 66
A collage of neon signage collected from various places on the historic route 66 | Source

Ask relevant questions

Moving out of the lectures and the ideal learning environment into our living spaces.

You might realize that one of the most difficult things to find these days are not the right answers, but the right questions.

Some areas resort to activities to make up for those questions you don't even know how to ask.

Think collage, for example, which is a practice in arts that have been used to create art works for ages.

Now it is part of a user research method, a relatively new design thinking that is increasingly being sharpened over the past few years.

Researchers have been adopting the use of collage to help identify feelings towards brands and products in qualitative marketing for over 40 years now.

Although we may not be asking with our questions, the trend remains that same ol' expectation that we ask relevant questions.

The scientific community now has to be able to identify these relevant questions when they see them in the form of actions instead of words.

Top 10 World Problems

Do you know what top 10 world problems we are facing?

See results

Come up with solutions (and explain them to others)

The variables of our demographic are the same independent variables we often encounter when being asked, "Who is your target audience?"

We are seeing the automatic display of scientific activities such as coming up with solutions as independent from the demands of our daily routines.

Well, at least for this writer.

As a creative person, I don't agree to some of the things that science has proved (in relation to success). Of course I'm not the only one.

In an article related to the reporting of 30 Under 30 Project, not everyone agrees with the data.

Limiting a person's chances of being famous by age? Critical thinking skills, please.

More and more of us who are under 30 are feeling the pressure of having to come up with solutions to problems.

Meanwhile, the last time I checked, the top 10 world problems list still contain items that people "don't know" about.

Understand or translate scientific terminology into non-scientific language


Acting like a scientist

  • Conduct a real experiment
  • Look up scientific research articles and sources
  • Relate these scientific concepts to real-world problems
  • Synthesize or comprehend several sources of information
  • Memorize large quantities of information

Draw a picture to represent problems or concepts

This may sound a bit challenging for those who cannot draw.

I took several courses online and offline to learn how to draw. But it appears that those administering the courses were more interested in the problems than the solutions I often try to explain.

One time, an instructor even told me to drop the whole drawing thing and just use a designer online.

Of course, I then took up design classes online.

Animation Experiments

Classroom impact

Classroom climates have quite an impact on learning and performance.

Especially a positive classroom climate, which will naturally have a positive impact on learning.

It would be quite challenging, but not impossible, to turn the whole world into a global classroom in order to retain scientific thinking and acting.

But even so, we would still need to make sure that the global classroom is one that has a positive impact on learning performance.

Since we don't usually have full control over the human attributes, it makes more sense to encourage the establishments of collaborative environments to emphasize group work, promote critical thinking and their applications.

Explain to me about Pizza concepts

Pepperoni is not the only topping available.
Pepperoni is not the only topping available. | Source

How do you learn best?

The two primary techniques in science:

  1. Domain-specific learning is when you memorize facts and causal relationships.
  2. Domain-general learning is when you have reasoning strategies and critical thinking skills.

So, which one are you?

© 2014 Lovelli Fuad


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