"Eventually, Hot Air Is Helium:" The Benefits of "Wrong" Answers In Science; Talking Science to Promote Understanding

Mary Rizzuto

Professional scientists engage in collaborative conversations as one method of inquiry into theories that are at the edges of their understanding. Discussing possibilities that may in the end turn out to be 'wrong' does not deter their efforts to understand and to be understood by others, or make them less scientific. In fact, articulating new possibilities, many of which are wrong, is a hallmark of the scientific enterprise. Yet in classroom science lessons, little attention is given to conversations that concern the BIG ideas of science and much attention is paid to 'right' answers. This presentation challenges these classroom practices and promotes the idea of holding science talks as an integral part of the elementary curriculum.

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