Observational Inquiry

In LT1, we looked briefly at examples of different strands of inquiry (Reading A: “Invitation to Rational Inquiry”), and explored in some detail the question, “What is a Solid?” as an example of conceptual inquiry (Video-1, and Reading B: “What is a Solid?”).
In LT2, we look at observational inquiry as part of scientific inquiry.
Part 1 [on LT2-Reading A]
The  LT2-Reading A: “Observing and Describing” is Chapter 2 of the book Introduction to Rational Inquiry.
Read  the chapter
Reflect  on what it says about scientific and mathematical inquiries. After such reflection,
Re-read  the chapter, and discuss it with interested colleagues or friends. In engaging with the reading, keep in mind the following questions:
• Does the reading give you a broad sense of what we mean by observational inquiry?
• Are there parts that you think we need to clarify further?
Make a note of your thoughts and questions.

Part II [on Video-3, and LT2-Reading B]
Read  LT2-Reading B: “Observations and Observational Generalizations.” here 

It goes beyond Reading A to connect to ways of arriving at and defending observational generalizations.

Watch  Video-3 “Observational Inquiry Part 1” at


The video talks about Counting, Measuring, Inexactness and Correlation.

Reflect  on the following question, and discuss your thoughts with others:
What do you think are the specific mental abilities that the tasks in the Video and in Reading B aim to nurture?

The readings have several exercises in them, meant to illustrate a wide variety of examples. We DO NOT expect you to work through them and submit your answers, or to use them in a classroom. If there are any that particularly interest you, or you have questions about, you could raise them for discussion in the Discussion Forum after you have submitted the LT2 Quiz.

At the end of the week, on June 23, you will receive Quiz 2.
The Quiz is to be completed online by June 25.
Further details for submission will be given as part of the Quiz.