I need a figure for the fish population in a lake, how does it help
to catch and mark 40 fish ?
This problem calls for good application of practical reasoning
and is a great simple example of the process of making and testing
Start by discussing epidemics, or Cholera in particular, using
the supporting material. The main task is for students to think
about what information, recorded in the text, allowed John Snow to
recommend a course of action. Explain that John Snow was a pioneer
in medicine in London in the 19th century who thought that diseases
such as Cholera were water-borne. As news of this outbreak reached
him he went quickly to the Broad Street area of London before too
many people had fled so that he could ask questions that would help
him form a view about the likely cause of the disease. A key
concept to draw out as students discuss the task and the context is
that a hypothesis is never completely settled. It is more useful to
describe it as a process of increased confidence in our account of
What is Cholera ?
Which information supports the parish Board of Guardian's
decision to make the Broad Street pump unusable by removing the
pump handle ?
Was the decision certain to be correct ?
Hunting is a similar context but involves a more complex
relationship between incidents and the 'centre' or source.
The problem In the
Bag takes students to the heart of hypothesis-making in a very
simple way : samples, even a large number of samples, never settle
the question beyond all doubt, they do however increase confidence
in our belief. It ceases to be a hypothesis when we open the bag
and reveal the actual contents.
And this article gives more background on Understanding