What is Scientific Method or inquiry ? Components Of Scientific Method or inquiry
∆ What is Research ?
this is very important question before discussion the scientific method.
Research is search for knowledge in a systematic and scientific way or Method.
In research different types of methods use for acquiring knowledge and one of the most important method for acquiring knowledge is ‘Scientific Method’.
Now the big question ,what is the Scientific Inquiry or Method?
The method adopted by sciences for the acquisition of knowledge, exploring truth and solving problems is known as scientific method.In details the term scientific method as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment,and the formulation and testing of hypothesis”.Francis Bacon is the father of scientific method ,but Galileo Galilei is the father of Modern Scientific Method.For better understanding of this method,let us take the help of a few important definitions given by some great thinkers and authors. Like –
● Pearson (1957) – The scientific method is one and the same in the branches(of science)and that method is the of all logically trained mind….the unity of all sciences consists alone in its method,not in material; the man who classifies facts of any kind whatever,who sees their mutual relation and describes their sequence,is applying the scientific method and is a man of science.
● Lastrucci (1967) – The scientific method encourages a rigorous, impersonal mode or procedure dictated by the demands of logic and objective procedure.
● McGulan (1969) – The Scientific method is a serial process by which all the sciences obtain answers to their questions.
● Wiersma (1986 ) – The Scientific method is usually described as a series of steps,begining with the identification of some problem and proceeding to the final step of drawing conclusion.
● Dellow (1970) – Scientific method is nothing more then thinking according to a set of rules,in fact ,it is “organized common sense.
● McMillan (2004) – The scientific approach(or method)is a logical method of inquiry,not a body of knowledge.It is tried to particular fields of study ,to laboratory situations,or to men and women in White coat developing complex theories.
So,on the basis of the above definitions,we can conclude,” Scientific method is an approach or method used for discovering the facts and solving the problems by employing a series of logical,objective and systematic steps.”
∆ Characteristics of Scientific Method :
Scientific method refers to a standardized set of techniques for building scientific knowledge,such as – How to make valid observation, How to interpret result, and How to generalize those results.
Scientific method allows researchers to independently and impartiality test, preexisting theories and prior finding,and Subject them to open debate, modifications or enhancements.
So,the main characteristics of scientific method is given below :
1. Verifiability : In this method results are treatable and same results after repetition.
2. Definiteness : In this method there is no place of facts which are doubtful and not clear or exact and every result and statement are clear and measurable .
3. Objectivity : In scientific method result are true and independent from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions,and imagination.
4. Systematic study : Its a systematic study and its follows steps of scientific method.
5. Power of Prediction : The power of Prediction of a scientific theory refers to its ability to generate testable prediction.
6. Generalization : It refers to making broad conclusion from one or very few facts and results are true for the population from which samples are drawn.
7. Cause and effect relationship : A cause and effect relationship is a relationship in which one event ( the cause) makes another event happen( the effect).
8. Theorization : Theorization is the production or use of theories.
9. Universality : In this method the quality of involving or being shared by all people or things in the world or in a particular group.
∆∆ Components of Scientific Method :
Scientific method or inquiry is the way in which researchers use a systematic approach to answer questions about the world around us .
The number of component of a scientific method is- 1.) Formulate a specific problem or question to a testable from : –
For example if we want to know the effects of ‘fertilizer’ on the growth of ‘Plant’,our possible problem or question is ” the fertilizer make a plant grow bigger”.
2.) Formulate a Hypothesis : –
A hypothesis is a statement that gives a tentative answer or solution to the question.It is the expected outcome in an experiment. For example,if the fertilizer is applied to plant ,then will grow bigger. We can use the ” if -then ” statement for our hypothesis.
3.) Select and Justify a Procedure to be Used in Answering the Specific Question : –
In this step we formulate procedure for our actual experiment. For example,
a.) write hypothesis in a testable from. b.) Identify the variables that need to control in order to have a fair test.
c.) Identity the dependent and independent variables.
d.) prepare all the materials needed . e.) make experimental and controlled set-up.
4.) Identify the Dependent and Independent Variables in the Investigation : –
Identifying the dependent and independent variable from the problem question,which is the “does fertilizer make a plant grow bigger ? ” Here is these questions,there are two variables – independent variable ( faritilizer ) and dependent variable ( plant growth ) .
5.) Carry out the Procedure that Includes a Fair Test : –
This is the step in which we will perform the experiment including the fair test . Now the question- “what is the fair test ? ” and answer is ,the fair test is making sure that in an experiment,one factor or condition(the independent variable) affects another (the dependent variable)by keeping all other conditions constant or the same.
In fair test we will identity the controlled variable and the variables are plant,soil,pot and water .
6.) Make Observations that are Relevant to the Specific Question : –
Let us go back to the question problem ,the question is asking about the plant growth. As the fertilizer is applied,thus the focus of our observation is the plant graph. So, after applying the independent variable which is the fertilizer,we know observe the plant crops,which is the dependent variable.The plant growth is the dependent variable,because dependent variable is ,what we are observing .
7.) Make Measurements using Appropriate Devices and Unit : –
Now choose appropriate device from the measuring devices. since we measure the length of the growth of plant,the device that we use is tape measure or scale .We also choose the appropriate unit in this experiment and the appropriate unit is centimeter (cm).
8.) Record and Report all Observations and Data :-
We can make a chart to record the measurement of plant growth in a certain period of time.
Observation and data :
Plant Growth chart :
9.) Interpret Patterns from the Data Gathering : –
In interpreting data we can use graphical representation such as bar graph,pie chart,line graph,and other charts and graphs from this graphical representation.
10.) Infer and Explain Relationships from the Data :-
Now we explain the relationships between Plant-A and Plant-B data and we seen that ,the growth of Plant-B is faster than plant- A . This is because the fertilizer(independent variable)was applied on plant-B ,while no fertilizer was applied in plant-A.
And the last component is :
11.) Draw a Conclusion from the Results Obtained,Including a Statement to Support or Reject the Hypothesis: –
So,here we will draw a Conclusion from the results.For example,the plant-B with fertilizer grew bigger than the plant-A without fertilizer.The data suggest that the hypothesis is correct and we said that the fertilizer make the plant grow bigger.
∆ ∆ Reference :-
1. Mangal S.K and Mangal Subhra , Research Methodology In Behavioral Sciences, First edition,2013.
2. W.Best John and V.Kahn James,Research In Education,Tenth edition,2006.
3. Langenback Micheal and Other,An Introduction to Educational Research,
4. Kumar Ranjit , Research Methodology- a step-by-step guide for beginners, 3rd edition,1999.
5. Kothari C.R ,Research Methodology-Methods and Techniques, 2nd revised edition,1990.
6. W.Creswell John ,Research Design,SAGE publication pvt.Ltd.
Submitted by : Aman Gupta .
M.Ed 1st Semester ,Roll No : 1
Vinaya Bhavana , Visva – Bharati .