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Students’ investigations may have unexpected results


Unexpected results may provide an opportunity for further enquiry. For example, discussing with students what could have caused their observations to differ from what was predicted.

Teacher reflection

  • What factors might affect an investigation and lead to unexpected results?
  • Do unexpected results mean that the experiment was ‘wrong’ or that the students did the ‘wrong thing’? Why or why not?
  • How can teachers help their students to change their thinking from “The experiment failed” to “The experiment showed that … is not a cause of …”?
  • How might teachers and their students turn unexpected results into a new investigation?