Characteristic Features of Scientific Methods

From the above discussion it can be said that the procedure line of action and other details are indefinite and not fixed in scientific methods. Some experts consider it as an important reason that why these methods have not attained status of independent and distinctive methods of teaching and learning science in themselves. But still, there are certain features which are found in scientific methods, and which play important role in making such methods scientific. Some of the important features inherent in scientific methods are as follows:


In their approach, scientific methods are found to be quite objective. Such methods do not rely on any kind of biases and prejudices, but they are based on the foundation of scientific facts and proofs.



Scientific methods give more importance or consideration to the proper verification of the facts. Conclusions are drawn on the basis of only such facts for which there are valid and proper proofs available. In case of non availability of such valid proofs, no beliefs or opinions will be used as basis of conclusions.


Although some experts are of the view that scientific methods are indefinite in nature, but still there is content of definiteness in the processes which are being employed in such methods. It is as a result of this feature of scientific methods that conclusions drawn from such methods are found to be more reliable and valid and are consider to be free from all kinds of biases and truthlessness.



An important feature of outcomes or conclusions drawn from the use of such methods is that they cannot be used to guide in the present time, but on their basis, future predictions can be made by the observer. Through the properly generalised results of the scientific method, one can predict in the present that what will happen in a given situation under the known circumstances to particular object or phenomena in the future. It is because of this reason that such methods are widely used by scientists and researchers.


The conclusions drawn from making use of scientific methods consist of marked featured of generality in them. This statement has two implications. First, that inductive method is being used in making generalisations out of the particular happenings or events. Secondly, principles established through scientific methods are universal in nature by which they can be applied generally in other situations of similar kinds.



An important feature of results or conclusions drawn from making use of scientific methods are that they cannot be considered as final at any time. The main reason of this is that they are non- static in nature. Such conclusions are open to continuous verification and further studies. On the basis of informations obtained through new innovations and experiments, the information or fact what is considered to be true today can prove to be wrong tomorrow or in the near future.

Thus, there is content of non-rigidity in the process adopted for discovering facts. Not only this, these methods do not stand in the ways of bringing desired modifications and changes in the scientific laws and principles which were being established earlier.

From the features of scientific methods discussed above, one can conclude that all of them are also found in science. It is because of this reason that sometimes people consider science and scientific methods as inter­changeable terms. However, in reality, both these concepts are complementary to each other.


Whatever progress is taking place in the scientific pursuit is all due to the adoption of various scientific methods. While on the other hand, scientific methods help human beings to understand the facts and principles of science and to apply them in their practical life, as a result of which our life has become very comfortable and smooth in comparison to earlier times.

Before discussing about the steps which are generally taken while making use of scientific methods, it is first necessary to discuss the significance of scientific methods. Today, such methods are used in all kinds of studies made in different branches of science.

These methods are considered to be important and desirable as they lay emphasis on systematic and careful study of the situation or object. Through such methods, it becomes possible to collect different kinds of informations and scientific facts by proper observation, experimentation and testing procedures.

As said that in scientific methods, data are being classified and then interpretations are made from them, as a result of which observer gets the chance to proper analyse the object or situation. With this, chances to get more accurate kind of results get increased. Not only this, results or conclusions drawn by making use of such methods can be verified further, as a result of which more sound and logical scientific principles and laws can be framed.


Not only this, teachers gain some special kind of advantages by making use of such methods in teaching process, some of which are as follows:

i. Through these methods, students get huge opportunities to play active roles in teaching process. Usually they gain important knowledge through their own experiences as a result of which importance of teacher get diminished to some extent and students become self-dependent. Such kind of condition helps in developing an appropriate kind of atmosphere in the classroom where students can gain science knowledge successfully and effectively.

ii. Through scientific methods, students learn to identify and formulate scientific problems properly and in well organised manner.

iii. Through scientific methods, students get trained in making use of techniques of information processing.


iv. Through scientific methods, power of reflective thinking and reasoning among the students get developed with the help of which they begin to take decisions on logical and rational grounds.

v. Through scientific methods, quality of intellectual honesty got developed among the students and they become able to analyse all the pros and cons of situation before taking any kind of decision.

vi. Through scientific methods, students learn to establish relationship and patterns amongst various things and concepts.

vii. Through scientific methods, students become efficient to discover new means to find out truth existing beneath the surface of the matter.

No concept can be understood properly without proper analysing its all aspects. As use of scientific methods consists of some advantages, there are some disadvantages also which are inherent in these methods, mentions of some of which are as follows:

i. For using these methods, it is necessary to make proper planning, for which a lot of time is required. Thus, these methods are considered as time consuming by large number of experts.

ii. Although these methods help in drawing logical and rational conclusions to considerable extent, but it is not possible to impart education of such a complex subject as science through them. They cannot be considered as full fledged methods of learning science because of which it becomes necessary to make use of other methods of teaching also along with them.

iii. Generally, for proper implementation of such methods, there should be proper provision of facilities and materials, which is found to be unsatisfactory in majority of schools in our nation. Not only this, our school teachers do not possess much knowledge of these methods, as a result of which, they fail to implement them successfully in their classes.

iv. Such methods cannot be used for all the students but they are suitable only for the bright and creative students. It becomes difficult for the teacher to make use of these methods in classroom as students of varying mental capacities take education in classroom and it is not possible for the teacher to employ these methods only on the bright students separately as usually they face problem of lack of time.