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Scientific Investigation: Goals

Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World enhances students’ understanding of the natural world and of the methods central to modern science. It gives students opportunities to explore the broader earth system and universe, a sphere of inquiry that includes but is not limited to humans. In a world influenced by science and technology, informed citizens need to be familiar with the distinctive ways of thinking characteristic of the sciences and need to cultivate skill in quantitative reasoning. This requirement complements The West in Time and the Global Cultures requirements by addressing a distinct approach to the understanding of the world that originated in the West but currently exercises global influence. These courses will meet the description of the preceding paragraph and will accomplish some combination of the following:

  • Explicitly address the nature of the scientific method;
  • Give students direct experience in the gathering and analysis of scientific data;
  • Emphasize the use of quantitative reasoning;
  • Introduce the foundations and principles of scientific knowledge;
  • Enhance scientific literacy.

 At least one of the two units must involve significant laboratory or field experience.

Please be aware that anyone receiving a Critical Perspectives designation for one or more of their courses is implicitly agreeing to participate in a general education assessment process about once every three years. The process is not difficult and, if done well, may be helpful to you in your Critical Perspectives teaching.