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Students’ investigations are a limited modelling of the processes of scientific investigation


Students’ investigations are limited by the equipment available, their existing science knowledge, and their knowledge of context.

Scientists approach an investigation with the aim of creating new science knowledge. Students are typically investigating existing science knowledge.

For more information see comparing students’ and scientists’ approaches to science .

Teacher reflection

  • What things can limit student investigations?
  • If time is a limiting factor, how might teachers modify a student investigation?
  • Is it possible to borrow or hire specialist gear?
  • How can teachers support students who are frustrated by the limitations that they experience?
  • Should student investigations be made more complex so that they more closely model scientific investigations? Why or why not?
  • Is it realistic to expect that student investigations might closely resemble scientific investigations? Why or why not?
  • How might student investigations change as students become more skilled investigators?