In a world flooded with information—and disinformation—we constantly make choices about what to believe. Our thinking can be confused, with ingrained biases that make it easy to fool ourselves. Scientists have spent centuries perfecting techniques to help them avoid falling into traps. These techniques can be invaluable for everyone. But for too long, these thinking tools have been missing from high school education. That is why we have worked with a team of experts to create Scientific Thinking for All: A Toolkit.
Scientific Thinking for All: A Toolkit is designed to prepare high school students for the challenges and opportunities ahead. It teaches a toolkit of cognitive strategies for real-world issues. By learning to view the world scientifically, students will develop skills in reasoning and collaborating, equipping them to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.
Scientific Thinking for All: A Toolkit has been developed under the leadership of Saul Perlmutter, 2011 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics. He conceived the idea for the course, along with colleagues in the social sciences and philosophy, for undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley. The high school initiative is in cooperation with Nobel Prize Outreach. The Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California, Berkeley (LHS) is adapting the college course to suit a younger audience. STEM Learning is advising LHS on how to serve students in the UK, training teachers on its use in the classroom.
Teachers have been testing the course in the first half of 2023. Now the LHS team is recruiting more teachers to participate in field tests.
On 26 May 2023, at the Nobel Prize Summit, the team presented the initiative for the first time to a public audience.
Throughout 2023 and 2024 the team will be developing more units for the course. The first unit “Evidence and Iteration in Science,” focusing on clean water access, will be released in the second half of 2023. This will be the first of several units, to follow soon, which are suitable for any teachers with English-speaking students aged 14-18.
In this video Perlmutter describes how scientific thinking techniques can empower students to make wiser decisions.
Get Involved to Help Develop the Materials
To join the growing community of pioneer teachers who are using the materials, sign up for the mailing list of the Lawrence Hall of Science. LHS will inform you about opportunities to get involved, including new open access curriculum materials and calls for field test teachers.
Sign up on their web page