Field-Based Data Collection
Field-based data collection is a science education approach that emulates the practices of scientists to evoke ideas of the nature of science through science praxis. During field-based data collection activities, people use genuine (or sometimes science-like) tools and techniques to collect data in settings outside of the classroom. A common goal of these data collection activities is to shift people’s understanding of the nature of science by getting them to “think and act like a scientist” through interaction with the real data they collect and the subsequent analysis of those data (e.g., by graphing or reflecting on patterns within the data). By working directly with data they and their peers collect, learners can also construct new understandings about science.
This approach to science education has become increasingly common in middle- and high-school science classrooms, where the tools and techniques have evolved from paper and...