There is a need for more effective methods for teaching the nature of scientific inquiry in geography classes. We suggest class projects that involve applying the scientific method from experimental design, to data identification and collection, to analysis, and finally to writing up the results. Our example project for college students is a test of a hypothesis dealing with the differences in the shape of longitudinal stream profiles between humid and arid regions. The actual hypothesis used, though, is less important than the process by which any hypothesis is tested. Students should learn that scientific methods rarely involve easy-to-follow instructions leading to obvious conclusions; instead, uncertainty and judgment calls are required at every step of the process.
- Science education
- Stream profiles