In this lesson, we will examine the use of the Scientific Method of Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking is defined by Neuffer (2017), as “the mind’s ability to analyze claims”. According to Tykoski (2016), the Scientific Method “is testing with the aim to falsify”. The Scientific Method can also be defined as an orderly, systemic way of thinking about and solving problems.
After completing this module you will be able to apply the Scientific Method of Critical Thinking and demonstrate mastery with a minimum quiz score of 70%.
We have divided the Scientific Method into the following six steps:
- Make an Observation – Notice what is happening. Observation involves taking notice of something and deciding if you want to know more about it.
- Formulate Questions – Answer the question ‘why is this happening’. This creates an idea that can be tested using experiments
- Generate Hypothesis – This is a statement that uses observations, without any experimental evidence, to define why something is happening. evidence
- Gather Data – Research or perform experiments, which is a series of tests to see if the hypothesis is true or false – Record what is discovered from each experiment.
- Analyze Data – Ask if your hypothesis is correct. Take what you found in your experiments and compare it to your hypothesis. If necessary, perform additional experiments to gather better data.
- Draw Conclusions – Declare that the experiment shows the hypothesis is true or false. It is not unusual for Scientists to perform additional experiments to discover new things.
The Socratic Method, named for the Greek philosopher Socrates from Athens, uses Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking and the Socratic Method have been studied and debated for thousands of years and used to discern truth and falsehood. Socrates taught his students by exposing contradictions in their thoughts and ideas then guiding them to solid conclusions.
Science is about attacking the hypothesis and changing variables to see if, despite one’s best efforts, the hypothesis can be disproven (Bobrowsky, 2007). Once we get past the notion that our hypothesis is supposed to be true, the concept of disproving ideas, the Scientific Method opens a new realm of critical thinking.
Bobrowsky, M. (2007). The Process of Science and its Interaction with Non-Scientific Ideas (Tech.). Washington, DC: American Astronomical Society.
Neuffer, S (2017, September 26) The Relationship Between Scientific Method & Critical Thinking. Retrieved April 4, 2021, from https://www.theclassroom.com/relationship-between-scientific-method-critical-thinking-19049.html
Tykoski, M. (2016, June 23). The scientific method: Critical thinking at its best. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.gcu.edu/blog/teaching-school-administration/scientific-method critical-thinking-its-best
Scientific method. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scientific%20method
Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by Design (2nd ed.). San frisco, CA: Pfeiffer.