Learning and Scientific Reasoning

  1. Nianle Wu7



Vol. 323 no. 5914 pp. 586-587 

DOI: 10.1126/science.1167740


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 (16). Teaching goals in STEM education include fostering content knowledge and developing general scientific abilities. One such ability, scientific reasoning (79), is related to cognitive abilities such as critical thinking and reasoning (1014). Scientific-reasoning skills can be developed through training and can be transferred (713). Training in scientific reasoning may also have a long-term impact on student academic achievement (7). The STEM education community considers that transferable general abilities are at least as important for students to learn as is the STEM content knowledge (14). Parents consider science and mathematics to be important in developing reasoning skills (15).