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What is ‘understanding’?
Essential Question: is there a difference between understanding and knowing? The goal of the scientist is to ‘understand’ nature, not merely know it. In this class, we will strive to obtain an understanding of nature as well, by developing an understanding of physics. But first, we should pay some careful attention to the word understanding.

Answer the following questions on your own (10 minutes)
1. What is something that you understand really well? It can be academic, artistic, athletic, almost anything that you are confident that you understand.

2. How did you come to that understanding? What specific things did you do to obtain that understanding?

3. How did you come to know that you understood it really well?

4. Think of something that you understand really well that you can teach to a novice in approximately 10 minutes. Make any necessary preparations to teach this lesson; you may be asked to teach it tomorrow in class.

Do this side in class: Take five minutes and share your understanding with your neighbor. What are some common features of how you and your neighbor came to understanding? Write those common features on a whiteboard. After our class discussion answer the following questions on your own:
1. What is the difference between knowing and understanding? Give an example of something you know, but don’t understand.

2. What does this examination of ‘understanding’ and the above statement have to do with our study of science?

3. Based on how you acquired the understanding you wrote about on the other side of this page, explain 2 things you can do to enhance your understanding of science.

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