Like many physics teachers, I love to have my students spend time working in the laboratory. There is often no better way to test an idea about how the physical world works than to actually set up an experiment and see if the idea can be ruled out or not. This process is an authentic representation of the scientific method, which can take a winding and unpredictable path rather than a clean step-by-step recipe that students want to believe science follows.

1.
E.
Etkina
,
A. Van
Heuvelen
,
D. T.
Brookes
, and
D.
Mills
, “
Role of experiments in physics instruction — A process approach
,”
Phys. Teach.
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,
351
355
(
Sept. 2002
), along with the letter and response this paper generated:
William K.
Rule
, “
Educational reform versus classical approach
,”
Phys. Teach.
40
,
451
(
Nov. 2002
).
2.
Arnold B.
Arons
, “
Guiding insight and inquiry in the introductory physics laboratory
,”
Phys. Teach.
31
,
278
282
(
May 1993
).
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