syllabus etc.


WhenMonday 1:30-3:00pm
WhereSci 217 (?)
WhoAllison Turner and the natural science faculty
Credits 2
Level Intermediate
Website http://cs.marlboro.edu/term/spring05/empirical/home.html


This new, two-credit course is required of prospective Natural Science Plan students and is part of an on-going effort by the Science faculty to strengthen its commitment to a more experiential approach to doing science.
Because science is essentially a creative enterprise that requires both theoretical and empirical skills, the sooner students start doing science, the sooner they will be able to understand science as a method, analyze and understand its original literature, and appreciate its strengths and weaknesses as a way of knowing. We also hope this course will serve as a booster, pushing students to more sophisticated appreciation of the courses, tutorials, and Plan projects undertaken in the last two years of work at Marlboro.
The course will consist of five general questions or propositions that you will need to explore conceptually and then empirically. We envision that each question will involve observational or experimental design and implementation, the collection, organization and analysis of data, and some sort of summary or concluding paper. Working in small groups will be encouraged, as will a generally collaborative approach in a question's analysis . Regarding this last point: we believe it is essential that all members of the group participate in all phases of each project. We see ourselves a facilitators in a process of discovery and hope to leave most of the megathinking and specific approaches to the questions up to you. We will try to place a few appropriate texts or papers on Reserve in the Library, but encourage you to look further on your own.
Student evaluation will rest primarily on the quality of the reports, but we are also interested in the vigor and inventiveness with which you attack the questions.
last modified Sunday Febuary 6 2005 5:20pm EST