About the Author
Dick Filson is a biology teacher at Edison High School in Stockton, California. He
earned a BA degree in Zoology at the Uniiversity of California,Davis and a MS
degree in Biological Science at Oregon State University. He has held his cu rrent
position for twenty years.
Dick has been very active in science leadership since 1989. He has served on the
board of directors for the California Science Teachers Association since 1989 and
is currently its High School Director. He was president of the his state's NABT
chapter, CBEA, from 1993-1996. He has been a frequent presenter at state and
local conferences presenting workshop topics such as thematic teaching, using
portfolios, writing hypotheses, and many others. He has served on the test
development team for the Golden State Examinations in Biology and Chemistry as
well as the committee for GSE's noted portfolio project.
Dick Filson was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1995 and contributor to the biology
module, Evolution: A Context for Biology. Selected as an Access Excellence Fellow
in 1996, Dick continues to be productive in writing original material for biology
teaching. In the fall of 1996, he presented an original classroom activity, "Island
Biogeography and Evolution: Solving A Phylogenetic Puzzle With Molecular
Genetics" at the Geological Society of America national convention in Denver.
This activity is an integrative activity using real field data from geology,
geography, zoology, and molecular genetics. Dick has published a number of
articles in the California Science Teachers Association Journal and writes a
regular column in the CSTA newspaper, California Classroom Science.
"I have team taught biology for the past twenty years. Team teaching has given
me the opportunity to examine the work we do, to see what works, what does not.
Collaboration on 'refining the wheel' has helped me to develop my writing skills
and provide opportunities for creativity. Refining, modifying, and creating have
made teaching very satisfying. Branching out from my school to make regional
and state contacts has also given me the satisfaction from both learning and
contributing to learning."
"My ideas on writing hypotheses go back nearly twenty years. I was teaching life
science using BSCS's Pattern's & Processes . The book contained a short lesson on
hypotheses. I was impressed with how simple and clear a hypothesis could be and
immediately adopted it as means for my students to learn science as a process of
inquiry. Sharing this with my colleagues eventually brought hypothesis writing
into common practice at my school. My understanding and my ideas on this
subject have evolved and deepened over time but its essence has not ch anged since
the beginning. In recent years I have been challenged to bring hypothesis writing
into the context of critical thinking. Attending the World Conference on Critical
Thinking in 1994 and 1995 was very helpful to me in seeing the relationship
between science and critical thinking and the role of hypotheses. I hope that this
in depth essay will assist science teachers in finding ways to make science real
for their students. I welcome dialogue on this subject."