We science educators face important challenges. May we assume that students will understand the nature of science because they participate in inquiry-based lessons? Or must we provide explicit opportunities for students to examine the knowledge-building process? Scientifically literate citizens, for example, might need to be familiar with the roles of scientific debate, ethics and oversight of experimentation, the importance of evaluating sources of scientific information and the process of reaching consensus. Ask yourself if your students are able to grasp competing arguments, such as those related to human-induced global warming. Is the issue of climate change merely a hoax, as some argue? Or is there a scientific basis for raising fuel economy standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?
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