Session 2: Nature and Practices of Science

This session is the second Foundation session. This session immerses participants in activities and discussions about what is science and how scientific knowledge is produced. Science is a way of knowing and attempting to explain phenomena and to understand the world around us. It’s seen as a social enterprise that advances scientific understanding over time. Science is both a body of knowledge that represents current understanding of natural systems and a process through which that body of knowledge has been established and is being continually extended, refined, and revised. Participants will be challenged to consider a variety of questions, such as: Just what is encompassed by the nature and practice of science? Is there agreement as to what constitutes the “ideas about science” and what should be taught? Is science objective reality or socially constructed? What is the relationship between culture and science? How does understanding and reflecting on the nature of science influence our practice? How can we as scientists and educators help others, including students and the public, to have a better understanding of the nature of science and why might that be important?