causal patterns → big ideas

We tend to use simple patterns—where a cause directly leads to an effect—to explain what happens in our world. But the world is seldom so simple! An oil spill in one place can lead to a domino pattern of changes in the fish and migratory bird population elsewhere. Changing the temperature of one layer of the gases in the atmosphere changes the relationship between the relative densities—thus re-ordering the layers.

This section introduces: 1) a set of causal patterns that capture greater complexity and 2) a set of common default assumptions that most of us make and ways to think differently in these instances. These assumptions interact with student learning making it hard to learn a wide range of science concepts.

Video time: 36 seconds