Home > Events > EdPsych/DevSci Colloquium: Luke Butler (HDQM)
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EdPsych/DevSci Colloquium: Luke Butler (HDQM)

Time: 
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM
Location: 
1121 Benjamin Building

Joint colloquium hosted by Educational Psychology and Developmental Science.

The Empirical Child? A Framework for Investigating How Children Learn to Engage in the Scientific Process

Abstract: In a society awash with information from an ever-expanding array of sources, it is of paramount importance to raise the next generation to approach the world through an empirical, evaluative lens, and to foster the development of habits of mind that will guide how children learn about the world. In approaching this goal, it is critical to understand that science itself is a set of practices by which we assess evidence, and that these practices are fundamentally shaped by the social contexts in which they occur. From STEM to history to politics to economics, learning from evidence is a collective process in which we ask questions, consider evidence, and draw conclusions with and for each other. This is true in both formal educational contexts and our everyday lives: Teachers, parents, and peers suggest questions to ask, select evidence to consider, and frame the discussion about what to conclude. Using this social lens, in this talk I will present a new theoretical framework for investigating how children learn to engage in and understand three key steps in the empirical process: 1) asking questions and forming hypotheses, 2) collecting and analyzing data, and 3) communicating evidence. I will discuss research from my lab illustrating how children’s learning at each step is fundamentally shaped by social aspects of the context in which it takes place. I will close by outlining the obstacles children may encounter in making use of their developing empirical reasoning capacities, and suggesting approaches for future work addressing this pressing societal goal.

GALLERY:

VIDEO: