Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Puckette, James O.1, Stanley T. Paxton1, Richard A. Marston1, Thomas A. Wikle1, Jonathan C. Comer1
(1) Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

ABSTRACT: Hypothesis Based Learning (HBL): An Exciting Method for Teaching Earth Science

Hypothesis-based learning is an innovative method of teaching earth science that immerses students and teachers in the process of doing science. Consequently, students and teachers learn how to conduct experiments like practicing scientists. Students make observations, formulate hypotheses to explain their observations, make predictions and design fair tests to determine their validity. As a result, students learn to think critically, recognize the difference between observations and inferences or explanations, and design controlled experiments that test single variables. HBL pedagogy is being developed through a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Star Schools Program. The fundamental goal of this project is to provide middle-school teachers with low-cost, web-based science experiments that address the content mastery required to meet National Science Education Standards. HBL experiments in earth science include topics such as angle of repose, porosity, adsorption of liquids to grains, density or liquids, faults and earthquakes, impact craters, convective processes in the atmosphere and the Earth's interior, plate migration and geologic time, particle settling, condensation and permeability of soil. Where appropriate, earth science experiments are linked to other web-based experiments being developed by project team members in chemistry, biology, and physics. All experiments integrate math, language arts and instructional technology. HBL experiments and an on-line teacher workshop are found on the HBL web site (http:/ ). Early testing of the HBL pedagogy in grades 4-8 resulted in a 9.2 percent increase in student scores.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.