Icon for: Osman Yaşar


SUNY Brockport

The essence of computational and scientific thinking

NSF Awards: 1614847

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Underlying this great complexity of the cosmos is a universal dual process by which everything seems to form and grow. Wherever we look, we see this process at work. Heterogeneity is basically the essence of this dual process because quantifiable (discrete) things, such as the granular matter, either unite to make bigger things or break down to smaller ones. Sensory information released and reflected by the physical matter behaves the same quantifiable way. The good news is that our brains store, retrieve and process information in the same dual (associative and distributive) way as well; a perfect host for incoming information. Furthermore, duality in storage/retrieval/computation of information leads to duality in cognitive functioning, namely deductive and inductive reasoning, as suggested more than two centuries ago by Immanuel Kant. We all use these cognition processes but not all of us use them as iteratively, frequently, and methodologically as scientists. This video will not only link scientific thinking to ordinary thinking but it will also describe tools and instructional materials, along with empirical data on their impact, that educators can use in K-12 classrooms. We may not turn everyone to a scientist but we can educate new generations to more frequently and skillfully use deductive and inductive reasoning cycle of conceptual change. This will not only improve their cognitive skills but also motivate them to use electronic computing devices to further improve those skills.

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