Jump to content

Discovery (observation)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. Concerning sciences and academic disciplines, discovery is the observation of new phenomena, new actions, or new events and providing new reasoning to explain the knowledge gathered through such observations with previously acquired knowledge from abstract thought and everyday experiences.[1] A discovery may sometimes be based on earlier discoveries, collaborations, or ideas. Some discoveries represent a radical breakthrough in knowledge or technology.

New discoveries are acquired through various senses and are usually assimilated, merging with pre-existing knowledge and actions. Questioning is a major form of human thought and interpersonal communication, and plays a key role in discovery. Discoveries are often made due to questions. Some discoveries lead to the invention of objects, processes, or techniques. A discovery may sometimes be based on earlier discoveries, collaborations or ideas, and the process of discovery requires at least the awareness that an existing concept or method can be modified or transformed. However, some discoveries also represent a radical breakthrough in knowledge.


Within scientific disciplines, discovery is the observation of new phenomena, actions, or events which help explain the knowledge gathered through previously acquired scientific evidence. In science, exploration is one of three purposes of research, the other two being description and explanation. Discovery is made by providing observational evidence and attempts to develop an initial, rough understanding of some phenomenon.

Discovery within the field of particle physics has an accepted definition for what constitutes a discovery: a five-sigma level of certainty.[1] Such a level defines statistically how unlikely it is that an experimental result is due to chance. The combination of a five-sigma level of certainty, and independent confirmation by other experiments, turn findings into accepted discoveries.[1]


Within the field of education, discovery occurs through observations. These observations are common and come in various forms. Observations can occur as observations of students done by the teacher or observations of teachers done by other professionals. Student observations help teachers identify where the students are developmentally and cognitively in the realm of their studies. Teacher observations are used by administrators to hold teachers accountable as they stay on target with their learning goals and treat the students with respect.

Observations of students completed by teachers[edit]

Teachers observe students throughout the day in the classroom. These observations can be informal or formal. Teachers often use checklists, anecdotal notes, videos, interviews, written work or assessments, etc. By completing these observations, teachers can evaluate at what 'level' the student is understanding the lessons. Observations allow teachers to make the necessary adaptations for the students in the classroom. These observations can also provide the foundation for strong relationships between teachers and students. When students have these relationships, they feel safer, more comfortable in the classroom and are more willing and eager to learn.[2] Through observations teachers discover the most developmentally appropriate practices to implement in their classrooms.[citation needed] These encourage and promote healthier learning styles and positive classroom atmospheres.

Observations of teachers completed by other professionals[edit]

There are a set of standards set in the education system by government officials. Teachers are responsible for following these academic standards as a guideline for developmentally appropriate instruction. In addition to following those academic goals, teachers are also observed by administrators to ensure positive classroom environments. One of the tools that teachers could use is the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool. After using this tool, "over 150 research studies prove that students in classrooms with high-CLASS scores have better academic and social outcomes."[3][4] The tool itself is known for encouraging positive classroom environments, regard for the students' perspectives, behavior management skills, quality of feedback, and language modeling. The administrators rate each of the ten categories on a scale of one to seven. One being the lowest score and seven being the highest score that the teacher may receive.


Western culture has used the term "discovery" in their histories to lay claims over lands and people as "discovery" through discovery doctrines and subtly emphasize the importance of "exploration" in the history of the world,[5][6][7][8] such as in the "Age of Discovery", the New World and any frontierist endeavour even into space as the "New Frontier". In the course of this discovery, it has been used to describe the first incursions of peoples from one culture into the geographical and cultural environment of others. However, calling it "discovery" has been rejected by many indigenous peoples, from whose perspective it was not a discovery but a first contact, and consider the term "discovery" to perpetuate colonialism, as for the discovery doctrine[9] and frontierist concepts like terra nullius.

Discovery and the age of discovery have been alternatively, particularly regionally, referred to through the terms contact, Age of Contact[10] or Contact Period.[11]

See also[edit]


Specific references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rincon, Paul (12 December 2011). "Higgs boson: Excitement builds over 'glimpses' at LHC". BBC News. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  2. ^ Jablon, Judy (2009). "Taking it all in: Observation in the classroom" (PDF). Teaching Young Children. 4: 24–27.
  3. ^ La Paro, Karen M; Hamre, Bridget K; Pianta, Robert C (2012). Classroom assessment scoring system (CLASS) manual, toddler. Baltimore Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN 9781598572599.
  4. ^ Teachstone. (2018). Exploring the promise of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Retrieved from https://info.teachstone.com/ebook-what-is-class
  5. ^ Caroline Haskins (14 August 2018). "The racist language of space exploration". The Outline. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  6. ^ DNLee (26 March 2015). "When discussing Humanity's next move to space, the language we use matters". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  7. ^ Drake, Nadia (9 November 2018). "We need to change the way we talk about space exploration". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  8. ^ Alan Marshall (February 1995). "Development and imperialism in space". Space Policy. 11 (1): 41–52. Bibcode:1995SpPol..11...41M. doi:10.1016/0265-9646(95)93233-B. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  9. ^ Frichner, Tonya Gonnella. (2010). “Preliminary Study of the Impact on Indigenous Peoples of the International Legal Construct Known as the Doctrine of Discovery.” E/C.19/2010/13. Presented at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Ninth Session, United Nations Economic and Social Council, New York, 27 Apr 2010.
  10. ^ Katie Whitehurst. "Age of Contact". PBS. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  11. ^ Nassaney, Michael Shakir (2014). "North America During the European Contact Period". In Claire Smith (ed.). Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. New York, NY: Springer. pp. 5350–5371. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1641. ISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3. Retrieved 9 January 2021.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]