A new framework for teaching scientific reasoning to students from application-oriented sciences

Krist Vaesen (Corresponding author), Wybo Houkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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About three decades ago, the late Ronald Giere introduced a new framework for teaching scientific reasoning to science students. Giere’s framework presents a model-based alternative to the traditional statement approach—in which scientific inferences are reconstructed as explicit arguments, composed of (single-sentence) premises and a conclusion. Subsequent research in science education has shown that model-based approaches are particularly effective in teaching science students how to understand and evaluate scientific reasoning. One limitation of Giere’s framework, however, is that it covers only one type of scientific reasoning, namely the reasoning deployed in hypothesis-driven research practices. In this paper, we describe an extension of the framework. More specifically, we develop an additional model-based scheme that captures reasoning in application-oriented practices (which are very well represented in contemporary science). Our own teaching experience suggests that this extended framework is able to engage a wider audience than Giere’s original. With an eye on going beyond such anecdotal evidence, we invite our readers to test out the framework in their own teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Application-oriented research
  • Epistemic activities
  • Hypothesis-driven research
  • Model-based reasoning
  • Ronald Giere
  • Science education


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