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Discussion Plan – for enquiry in a small group

  • What counts as evidence?
  • What counts as good evidence?
  • How is evidence evaluated?
  • Does a piece of evidence have the same persuasive power for everyone?
  • What evidence would make someone give up an idea they have about something?
  • What comes first, the evidence or the conclusion?
  • Is scientific evidence different from other kinds of evidence, for example historical evidence?
Think about a piece of scientific knowledge that you hold to be true, such as, ‘opposite poles of a magnet attract’.
  • What convinces you that it is true?
  • How could you test it?
  • What might convince you otherwise?
  • Can you say if it is always true or only sometimes true?
  • What broader understanding of this effect of two magnets attracting would help you answer the questions above?
Now think of some scientific information that you are not so certain about, for example, ‘plants always need light to grow’. Use the same set of questions above to investigate this idea.
Go back to the discussion plan and see if you can add to the ideas you came up with in your group.


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