Prize the Doubt: Science and Engineering Practices
“It ain’t necessarily so.” Heyward & Gershwin
“There is no learning without having to pose a question.
And a question requires doubt.” Richard P. Feynman
Doubt? In schools? Schools are not generally places where doubt or skepticism are much discussed or even encouraged. “Do you doubt my word?” “Are you sure? I hope you’re certain about that answer!”
While doubt and uncertainty may be strangers to the classroom, they are central to understanding science.
As Richard Feynman puts it,
A scientist is never certain. We know all our statements are approximate statements with different degrees of certainty, that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or false but rather how likely it is to be true or false.… Now we have found that this is of paramount importance in order to progress. We absolutely must…
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