Definition of Theory

The best part of generating and testing hypotheses is that it draws upon students' natural curiosity.  Generating and testing hypotheses requires students to be thinkers who come up with their own questions and problems. Once students demonstrate a solid understanding of concepts being taught, and can perform new skills, they are ready to experiment with the new knowledge.  Students then develop questions and problems, and propose possible answers and solutions.  This happens to be one of the strategies that occur naturally in an active classroom.  Teachers can use the process with different tasks across all disciplines. Marzano, Pollack and Pickering identify six different types of tasks one can use with students to engage them in generating and testing hypotheses: systems analysis, problem solving, decision-making, historical investigation, experimental inquiry, and invention.

Articles on Best Practice:

Helping Students Work Through Mathematical Conjectures: Hillen, Amy & Tad Watanabe excerpt from Marshall Memo January 2014

A Critique of Discovery/INquiry/Constructivist/Problem-Based Teaching, Clark, Kirschner, & Sweller Spring 2012 excerpt Marshall Memo

Thought Experiments in the Classroom: Robert J. Marzano, ASCD November 2011

The Perils & Promises of Discovery Learning: Robert Marzano September 2011