Generating and Testing Hypotheses

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Brief Description of Category

  • "Generating and testing hypotheses" are often thought of as strategies that are only used in the sciences. However, students engage in this process in many content areas and as part of the natural learning process.

    Sometimes we refer to hypothesizing as predicting, inferring, deducing, theorizing, etc. in other content areas, but the mental processes are still the same.

    "When students create thesis statements, make predictions based on evidence, or consider the consequences of certain action, they are using the process of generating and testing hypotheses." (McREL, 2012)

Evidence of Implementation

    • Learned concepts are applied at high levels (Analyze, Evaluate, Create).
    • Students use knowledge in "real-world" contexts.
    • Students brainstorm, problem solve, and/or troubleshoot.
    • Students are heard saying "What if?" or "Let's try this."
    • Students are observed making and testing predictions and hypotheses.


    (Adapted from Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works; McREL, 2018)