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Students’ investigations may only generate partial explanations


Students’ interpretations of results are limited by the classroom context. An explanation based on a single investigation is not a basis for valid scientific generalisation.

A scientific generalisation is an explanation that is understood to be widely applicable.

Teacher reflection

  • How might student explanations be limited?
  • Can teachers expect their students to generate full explanations? Why or why not?
  • Should teachers fill the gaps in student explanations? Why or why not?
  • How might teachers encourage their students to carry out further investigations to develop their explanations?