I was caught off guard when I received a message around two weeks ago from a reporter at EdWeek, one of if not the largest organizations for news related to education. A reporter, Sarah Sparks, came across my recent article with Marcus Kubsch, E.-J. Wagenmakers, and Mine Dogucu. That article is available open-access here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-022-00341-3. I can’t help but wonder whether its accessibility played a role in the article being noticed by EdWeek and Sarah Sparks. I spoke with Sarah, who asked me to if I could recommend science teachers with whom she could speak about the ideas in the article and how they “look” in science classrooms, and so I connected her with my co-author, Marcus Kubsch (who also teaches high school physics) and a local teacher with whom I have collaborated (for many years), Alex Edwards.
The article is a nice encapsulation of what we’ve been writing and thinking about - and, Alex’s words suggest that we should next carry out some empirical research on approaches to science teaching and learning that embrace uncertainty. The article is titled Teaching Students to Understand the Uncertainties of Science Could Help Build Public Trust and it is available here from EdWeek: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/teaching-students-to-understand-the-uncertainties-of-science-could-help-build-public-trust/2022/07
Thanks to my co-authors Marcus, E.-J., and Mine for collaborating on this - much of the good ideas in this paper come from them. On reflecting, this is particularly gratifying as this is an idiosyncratic project — students at the K-12 level should engage in Bayesian reasoning if not Bayesian data analysis. It’s an idea that has been advanced for many contexts: college-level science classes, public understanding of science, and even K-12 mathematics classes, but not, yet, K-12 science classes (though, Bayesian reasoning and methods are a good fit!).