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The Flat Earth
In this lesson, students are exposed to a compelling idea: the Earth really IS flat! They are challenged to provide evidence for a spherical earth, then present evidence (experiences) for a flat Earth, discuss the relative strengths of the evidence, and reach conclusions. They look at the nature of science and pseudoscience and examine the flat Earth idea in that context. The social context of science is also explored, with the roles of collaboration and past experience biases being emphasized. The role of science in exposing illusions in nature is also mentioned.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • History and philosophy of science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1999 ENSI (Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes) This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-004-631
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of science
        • Science as a human endeavor
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Abilities of technological design
        • Understandings about science and technology
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Sci. / tech. in local, national, and global challenges
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Historical perspectives
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
        • Science as a human endeavor
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes


Author: Dr Jean Beard
San Jose State University, Department of Biological Sciences