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Revising Geology Labs to Explicitly Use the Scientific Method
This article points out that many content- or skill-based labs can be revised to explicitly involve the scientific method by asking students to propose hypotheses before making observations. Labs in which this method has been successfully applied include skill-building labs such as topographic map labs, content-based labs involving experiments with models, and field labs. Because these labs force students to state their expectations before making observations, they allow students to test their own models for various processes, making the students feel more engaged in the observations. This type of exercise reinforces other discussions of the scientific method, and gives students a better understanding of how scientists think. It provides models for applying the scientific method that students can consider when they try to design tests for open-ended research questions in this or other courses.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained.
DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-079
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE)

Author: Kimberly A Hannula
Geoscience Department
Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO