Why Falling Apple Exists

"This idea [induction] may sound simple, but it is difficult to implement."


Since the 17th century, the world has been transformed by science and the technology springing from it. Yet students still emerge from their education with no deep understanding of the ideas, very little insight into method, and the general impression that science is boring memorization and mathematical manipulation. This is a needless tragedy.

Science comes alive when it is taught inductively. The challenge for educators is to recreate the discovery process so that students can grasp the reasoning that leads from observations to narrow generalizations and eventually to broad theories. When science is presented in this way, it is as if the student himself is the discoverer. He acquires a deep understanding of both the content and method of science—and he learns to appreciate and enjoy the fascinating world around him.

This idea may sound simple, but it is difficult to implement. The development of an inductive curriculum requires in-depth knowledge of history and epistemology. It is much easier just to tell students about the theories, and science textbooks typically take this easy path. The payoff of the inductive approach, however, is well worth the effort. The students become thinkers rather than the passive recipients of empty dogma.

There is no better way to demonstrate to a young mind the power of reason—and to instill in that mind the confidence in its own power—than by teaching science and mathematics by the proper method.