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Theoretical and practical significance of formal reasoning

Published on Dec 1, 1982in Journal of Research in Science Teaching 3.21
· DOI :10.1002/tea.3660190903
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of California, Berkeley)
Abstract
Piaget's theory has profoundly influenced science education research. Following Piaget, researchers have focused on content-free strategies, developmentally based mechanisms, and structural models of each stage of reasoning. In practice, factors besides those considered in Piaget's theory influence whether or not a theoretically available strategy is used. Piaget's focus has minimized the research attention placed on what could be called “practical” factors in reasoning. Practical factors are factors that influence application of a theoretically available strategy, for example, previous experience with the task content, familiarity with task instructions, or personality style of the student. Piagetian theory has minimized the importance of practical factors and discouraged investigation of (1) the role of factual knowledge in reasoning, (2) the diagnosis of specific, task-based errors in reasoning, (3) the influence of individual aptitudes on reasoning (e.g., field dependence-independence), and (4) the effect of educational interventions designed to change reasoning. This article calls for new emphasis on practical factors in reasoning and suggests why research on practical factors in reasoning will enhance our understanding of how scientific reasoning is acquired and of how science education programs can foster it.
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  • Citations (39)
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Published on Jan 1, 1983in Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 2.50
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
,
Steven Pulos11
Estimated H-index: 11
This study investigated the role of aptitudes and experience in sex-related differences in proportional reasoning. Subjects were 778 7th, 9th, and 11th graders. Fewer than half the subjects consistently displayed proportional reasoning, with females slightly less successful than males. Sex-related differences in proportional reasoning were not accounted for by various measures of spatial ability, field dependence-independence, or Piagetian formal reasoning. Course experience in mathematics and s...
25 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1982
TverskyAmos90
Estimated H-index: 90
(Hebrew University of Jerusalem),
Daniel Kahneman111
Estimated H-index: 111
(Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
This paper describes three heuristics, or mental operations, that are employed in judgment under uncertainty. (i) An assessment of representativeness or similarity, which is usually performed when people are asked to judge the probability that an object or event A belongs to a class or process B. (ii) An assessment of the availability of instances or scenarios, which is often employed when people are asked to assess the frequency of a class or the plausibility of a particular development. (iii) ...
21.3k Citations
Published on Sep 1, 1981in Journal of Research in Science Teaching 3.21
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(Stanford University),
Steven Pulos11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of California, Berkeley),
Adrienne Gans1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of California, Berkeley)
Piaget's structural theory of formal thought suggests that a general construct of formal reasoning exists. The content of the task and type of problem employed are often ignored in Piagetian based studies but are important for generalizing findings to other studies and to educational problems. The study reported here examines content and problem effects of formal thought in 13-year-old adolescents. Specifically, three controlling variables tasks with different content and two question type tests...
44 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1981in Journal of Educational Psychology 4.43
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of California, Berkeley),
John F. Swiney1
Estimated H-index: 1
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1981in Journal of Educational Psychology 4.43
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of California, Berkeley),
Patrick Kyllonen3
Estimated H-index: 3
59 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 1980in American Journal of Physics 1.03
Audrey B. Champagne10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Leopold E. Klopfer13
Estimated H-index: 13
,
John H. Anderson1
Estimated H-index: 1
The study described in this paper investigates the combined effect of certain variables on student achievement in classical mechanics. Our purposes are (1) to describe the preinstructional knowledge of mechanics, mathematical skills, and reasoning skills of a sample of college physics students, (2) to correlate these variables with the student’s success in learning classical mechanics, and (3) to develop an hypothesis about the relationships between these variables and student achievement in mec...
367 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 1980in International Journal of Science Education 1.32
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of California, Berkeley)
Summaries English Educators need to know when an adolescent will use a particular available problem‐solving mechanism or strategy. If a student can solve proportional reasoning problems in mathematics and physics classes but fails to comprehend the ‘odds’ in a local lottery, the teacher would like to know why. Three task context factors that form obstacles to generalizing logical reasoning strategies are illustrated by research studies. The obstacles are perceived relevance of the variables, per...
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 1980in Science Education 3.04
Marcia C. Linn60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of California, Berkeley)
Hunt's theory of intrinsic motivation and the open education movement suggests that student choice is an important variable in instruction. Piagetian theory emphasizes the importance of interactive experiences and exposure to materials as opposed to direct instruction. In this study, interactive free choice learning experiences are compared to and combined with the lecture-demonstration approach. The goal of both forms of instruction was to teach children to criticize and control experiments. Th...
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 1980in Child Development 3.78
Judith E. Tschirgi4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Bell Labs)
TsCHmcI, JUDrTH E. Sensible Reasoning: A Hypothesis about Hypotheses. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1980, 51, 1-10. This study investigated the asserted differences in reasoning between adults and second, fourth, and sixth graders in a manipulation-of-variables task using common everyday situations. It is proposed that hypothesis-testing skills used in this task do not necessarily develop from an understanding of the logic of classes. These skills may develop through experience in manipulating elements in ...
225 Citations Source Cite
Cited By39
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The aims of this research study were to investigate and analyze the processing performances and the performance results (E1/E2) efficiency at the determining criteria for planning students‟ improvements to their learning processes toward their scientific knowledge were investigated, carry out the investigations, gathering evidence, and proposing explanations were developed and predicted. Students‟ engagements to their needs in unambiguous and clearly content of science teaching onto the instruct...
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Published on May 1, 2011in Research in Science Education 1.57
M. Gail Jones31
Estimated H-index: 31
(North Carolina State University),
Grant E. Gardner8
Estimated H-index: 8
(North Carolina State University)
+ 2 AuthorsJennifer S. Forrester5
Estimated H-index: 5
(North Carolina State University)
This study explored factors that contribute to students’ concepts of magnification and scale. Spatial visualization, logical thinking, and concepts of magnification and scale were measured for 46 middle school students. Scores on the Zoom Assessment (an assessment of knowledge of magnification and scale) were correlated with the Test of Logical Thinking (TOLT) and a series of four spatial visualization tests. Results showed that the TOLT was significantly correlated with the Zoom Assessment. The...
23 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 15, 2009in International Journal of Science Education 1.32
Ayo Harriet Akatugba3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Curtin University),
John Wallace22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Curtin University)
This study examines students’ use of proportional reasoning in high school physics problem‐solving in a West African school setting. An in‐depth, constructivist, and interpretive case study was carried out with six physics students from a co‐educational senior secondary school in Nigeria over a period of five months. The study aimed to elicit students’ meanings, claims, concerns, constructions, and interpretations of their difficulty with proportional reasoning as they worked on a series of 18 h...
12 Citations Source Cite
Lay Yoon Fah1
Estimated H-index: 1
The science curriculum in Malaysia emphasizes the acquisition of scientific skills, thinking skills, and the inculcation of scientific attitudes and noble values. Besides that, the acquisition of scientific and technological knowledge and its application to the natural phenomena and students' daily experiences are also equally emphasized. The purpose of this study was to gauge the logical thinking abilities namely conservational reasoning, proportional reasoning, controlling variables, combinato...
8 Citations
Published on Aug 1, 2003in International Journal of Science Education 1.32
Hee-Sun Lee2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Michigan),
Nancy Butler Songer22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Michigan)
Authentic activities are important in promoting inquiry because they provide natural problem-solving contexts with high degrees of complexity. This study designed and studied effective inquiry tasks through transforming content, scientific thinking, and resources featured in scientists' authentic practices. This study investigated how 59 inner-city 6th grade students performed in real-time forecasting situations involving fronts and pressure systems. Forecasts were evaluated in terms of predicti...
169 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 1999in European Journal of Psychology of Education 1.48
Nicos Valanides18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Cyprus)
The study investigated the structure and development of formal thought among tenth-, eleventh-, and twelfth-grade students. The subjects of the study were the total numbers of students attending the science, the economic, and the other sections of two higher secondary schools. Students' performance on a standardized Test of Logical Thinking (TOLT) was used as a measure of their cognitive abilities related to control of variables, proportional, probabilistic, correlational, and combinatorial reas...
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Published on Jan 1, 1999in School Science and Mathematics
Ayo Harriet Akatugba3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Curtin University),
John Wallace22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Curtin University)
This study examines the mathematical processes used by students when solving physics tasks requiring proportional reasoning. The study investigates students' understanding and explanations of their mathematical processes. A qualitative and interpretive case study was conducted with 6 students from a coeducational urban high school for 5 months. Students were engaged with some high school physics tasks requiring proportional reasoning, during which a hermeneutic dialectic design was used to inves...
11 Citations Source Cite