Recent Papers on Scientific Reasoning

  • Learning and Scientific Reasoning The development of general scientific abilities is critical to enable students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to successfully handle open-ended real-world tasks in future careers (1–6). Teaching goals in STEM education include fostering content knowledge and developing general scientific abilities. One such ability, scientific reasoning (7–9), is related to cognitive abilities such as ...
  • Pre-Service Teacher Scientific Reasoning Abilities Development of a scientifically literate citizenry has become a national focus and highlights the need for K-12 students to develop a solid foundation of scientific reasoning abilities and an understanding of nature of science, along with appropriate content knowledge. This implies that teachers must also be competent in these areas; but assessment of students in ...
  • Learning of content knowledge and development of scientific reasoning ability We report the results of our study of the connections between students’ learning of physics content knowledge and the development of general scientific reasoning abilities. In particular, we seek to determine whether and to what extent content learning affects the development of general reasoning abilities. Pre-college-instruction data of first-year college students in the United States ...
  • Scientific Thought and Methods Course Retention of majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a national problem that continues to be the focus of bridging and first-year experience programs. This article presents an innovative course, Scientific Thought and Methods, that targets students with low math placement scores. These students are not eligible for the introductory science courses in ...

 

An Operational Working Definitions on Assessment Dimensions of Scientific Reasoning

 

  • Basic Logical Reasoning Deductive logic related to the consistency of statements and beliefs and the validity of arguments. I. Definition The term "logic" is often used in many different ways.  It is sometimes understood broadly as the systematic study of the principles of good reasoning.  But sometimes "logic" is understood more narrowly as what we might call "deductive logic".  Roughly ...
  • Causal Reasoning Causal reasoning relates to establishing the presence of causal relationships among events.  When causal relationships exist, there is good reason to believe that events of one type (the causes) are systematically related to events of another type (the effects). I.  Introduction of causal reasoning Causal reasoning relates to establishing the presence of causal relationships among events.  When ...
  • Conditional Probability Conditional probability is a difficult topic for students to master. Often counter-intuitive, its central laws are composed of abstract terms and complex equations that do not immediately mesh with subjective intuitions of experience. I. Definition In terms of practical range, probability theory is comparable with geometry; both are branches of applied mathematics that are directly linked with ...
  • Control of Variables Control of variables strategy refers to the method used when experimenting with a system that has many variables.  To avoid confounded experiments, all variables but those under consideration must be controlled. I. Definition In a scientific inquiry process involving many variables, the relationship between the variables needs to be determined.  To do so, we form a hypothesis ...
  • Correlational Reasoning In a multi-variable scientific inquiry process, correlation is used to describe the degree of dependence between two variables. I. Introduction to correlational reasoning In a multi-variable scientific inquiry process, variables can be either independent or dependent, and relationships can exist among these variables.  In everyday life, people pay attention to correlational relationships.  Examples include the correlations between ...
  • Hidden Variables Non-given variables and unobservable relationships between variables are categorized as hidden variables.  Identifying hidden variables is an important step in forming and testing a hypothesis. I. Definition In a scientific inquiry process with many variables, some variables are obvious, but others are either not given or cannot be determined directly.  Some relationships between variables are easily observed, ...
  • Hypothetical-Deductive Reasoning Hypothetical-deductive method is a very important method for testing theories or hypotheses and is one of the most basic methods common to all scientific disciplines. I. Definition 1. Basic definition of hypothetical-deductive reasoning Hypothetical-deductive method (HD method) is a very important method for testing theories or hypotheses.  The HD method is one of the most basic methods common ...
  • Inductive Reasoning Inductive reasoning is used when generating hypotheses, formulating theories, and discovering relationships.  It is essential for scientific discovery.  I. Definition 1. Basic definition of inductive reasoning "Induction is a major kind of reasoning process in which a conclusion is drawn from particular cases.  It is usually contrasted with deduction, the reasoning process in which the conclusion logically follows ...
  • Probability Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. I. Definition 1. The basic definition of probability Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. The concept has been given an exact mathematical meaning in probability theory, which is used extensively ...
  • Proportions and Ratios In mathematics and physics, proportionality is a mathematical relation between two quantities. There are two different views of this “mathematical relation.” One is based on ratios, and the other is based on functions. I. Definition 1. Basic definition of proportional and ratio reasoning In mathematics and physics, proportionality is a mathematical relation between two quantities. There are two ...
  • Scientific Reasoning Dimensions   Review of Scientific Reasoning In general, we define scientific reasoning as domain general abilities along several skill dimensions. A developing list of such skill dimensions includes   Control of Variables Proportions and Ratios Probability Correlational Reasoning Basic Logical Reasoning Inductive reasoning Causal Reasoning Hypothetical-Deductive Reasoning    References   Adey, P. and M Shayer, Really Raising Standards: Cognitive Intervention and Academic Achievement (London: Routledge, 1994). Adey, P. and M. Shayer. ...