Students' transition from an engineering model to a science model of experimentation

Published on Nov 1, 1991in Journal of Research in Science Teaching 3.21
· DOI :10.1002/tea.3660280910
Leona Schauble24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Pittsburgh),
Leopold E. Klopfer13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Pittsburgh),
Kalyani Raghavan8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Pittsburgh)
This study investigates the hypothesis that when children are engaged in science experiments, the goal of which is to understand relations among causes and effects, they often use the engineering model of experimentation, characterized by the more familiar goal of manipulating variables to produce a desired outcome. Sixteen fifth- and sixth-graders worked on two experimentation problems consistent with the engineering and science models, respectively. The context in which these problems were framed was also varied, to encourage adoption of either an engineering or science model. Over six 40-min sessions, the group achieved significant increases in the percentages of inferences about variables that were both correct and valid. Improvement was greatest for those who began with the engineering problem and then went on to the science problem. The science model was associated with broader exploration, more selectiveness about evidence interpreted, and greater attention to establishing that some variables are not causal. The findings suggest that research on scientific inquiry processes should attend not only to the science content students are reasoning about, but also to their beliefs about the goals of inquiry.
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  • Citations (268)
Published on Jan 1, 1982in Advances in Child Development and Behavior 1.27
Deanna Kuhn50
Estimated H-index: 50
(Harvard University),
Erin Phelps22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Harvard University)
Publisher Summary This chapter focuses on the process of development. It describes a method designed to permit the study of developmental process and presents an initial and a replication study that illustrates the kinds of data and insights this method yields. An approach that involves the observation of a subject engaged in repeated encounters with a problem is employed. The focus is on gauging the reliability of subjects' performance, that is, the extent to which a subject displayed consisten...
128 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1988
Deanna Kuhn50
Estimated H-index: 50
(Columbia University),
Eric Amsel8
Estimated H-index: 8
+ 3 AuthorsWilliam Yotive1
Estimated H-index: 1
D. Kuhn, Introduction. The Development of Scientific Thinking. Related Work. D. Kuhn and E. Amsel with the assistance of L. Schauble, The Evaluation of Evidence. The Interpretation of Covariation and Noncovariation Evidence. The Influence of Theory on Evaluation of Evidence. The Reconstruction of Theory and Evidence. D. Kuhn and M. O'Loughlin with the assistance of W. Yotive, The Coordination of Theory and Evidence. Replication: The Evaluation of Evidence. The Interpretation of Insufficient and ...
607 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 1962
Jerome S. Bruner58
Estimated H-index: 58
(Harvard University),
Jacqueline J. Goodnow28
Estimated H-index: 28
George A. Austin1
Estimated H-index: 1
A Study of Thinking is a pioneering account of how human beings achieve a measure of rationality in spite of the constraints imposed by bias, limited attention and memory, and the risks of error imposed by pressures of time and ignorance. First published in 1956 and hailed at its appearance as a groundbreaking study, it is still read three decades later as a major contribution to our understanding of the mind. In their insightful new introduction, the authors relate the book to the cognitive rev...
2,520 Citations
Published on Jun 2, 2008
John Dewey59
Estimated H-index: 59
673 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 1974in Cognition 3.35
Annette Karmiloff-Smith61
Estimated H-index: 61
(University of Geneva),
Bärbel Inhelder1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Geneva)
Abstract Although Genevan research has provided a detailed analysis of cognitive structures, our knowledge of cognitive processes remains fragmentary. The focus is now not only on macro-development but also on changes occurring in children's spontaneous action sequences in micro-formation. A series of experiments designed to study goal-oriented behavior is in progress. This paper describes the action sequences of 67 subjects between 4;6 and 9;5 years in a block balancing task. It is not a study ...
497 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 1991in The Journal of the Learning Sciences 3.00
Leona Schauble24
Estimated H-index: 24
Robert Glaser29
Estimated H-index: 29
+ 1 AuthorsMiriam Reiner2
Estimated H-index: 2
This study explores how novices' conceptions about electric circuits affected their self-directed experimentation in a computer-based circuit laboratory. The participants, 22 undergraduates with no formal college instruction in physics, worked individually on an initial problem to assess their conceptual models of circuits and in subsequent sessions on open-ended experimentation with the computer laboratory, attempted to rediscover the laws of electric circuits. Analysis of the initial problem i...
134 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 1990in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2.42
Leona Schauble24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Pittsburgh)
Evolving beliefs and reasoning strategies were observed in 22 fifth- and sixth-grade children who worked over 8 weeks for a total of about 5 h on a causal reasoning problem. Children planned, performed, and interpreted experiments to learn about the relations between design features and speed of race cars in a computerized microworld. The group made progress, but by the end of the sessions did not fully understand those features that disconfirmed their initial beliefs. In their activity with the...
310 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 ...
219 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1987in Psychological Review 7.23
Joshua Klayman17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Chicago),
Young-Won Ha6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Chicago)
Strategies for hypothesis testing in scientific investigation and everyday reasoning have interested both psychologists and philosophers. A number of these scholars stress the importance of disconfir. marion in reasoning and suggest that people are instead prone to a general deleterious "confirmation bias" In particula~ it is suggested that people tend to test those cases that have the best chance of verifying current beliefs rather than those that have the best chance of falsifying them. We sho...
1,317 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 1988in Cognitive Science 2.62
David Klahr32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Carnegie Mellon University),
Kevin Dunbar23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Carnegie Mellon University)
The purpose of the two studies reported here wos to develop an integrated model of the scientific reasoning process. Subjects were placed in a simulated scientific discovery context by first teaching them how to use an electronic device and then asking them to discover how a hitherto unencountered function worked. To do this task. subjects had to formulate hypotheses bas’ed on their prior knowledge, conduct experiments, and evaluate the results of their experiments. In t,he first study, using 20...
692 Citations Source Cite
Cited By268
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 2.19
Saskia Kistner3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Goethe University Frankfurt),
Bruce D. Burns14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Sydney)
+ 1 AuthorsUlrich Kortenkamp8
Estimated H-index: 8
The three-space theory of problem solving predicts that the quality of a learner's model and the goal specificity of a task interact on knowledge acquisition. In Experiment 1 participants used a computer simulation of a lever system to learn about torques. They either had to test hypotheses (nonspecific goal), or to produce given values for variables (specific goal). In the good- but not in the poor-model condition they saw torque depicted as an area. Results revealed the predicted interaction. ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1993in Merrill-palmer Quarterly
Deanna Kuhn50
Estimated H-index: 50
Current research on both informal reasoning and scientific reasoning ought to bear directly on efforts to understand and promote critical thinking, and yet these two bodies of work have proceeded largely independently of one another and neither has been linked to the older, more extensive literature on critical thinking. A way is offered here of conceptualizing and examining informal reasoning that links it to scientific reasoning, and makes it clear how both are central to critical thinking. Bo...
88 Citations
Published on Apr 1, 2014in Journal of Research in Science Teaching 3.21
George E. Deboer11
Estimated H-index: 11
Edys S. Quellmalz6
Estimated H-index: 6
+ 6 AuthorsJean C. Flanagan1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Smithsonian Institution)
Online testing holds much promise for assessing students' complex science knowledge and inquiry skills. In the current study, we examined the comparative effectiveness of assessment tasks and test items presented in online modules that used either a static, active, or interactive modality. A total of 1,836 students from the classrooms of 22 middle school science teachers in 12 states participated in the study as part of normal classroom activities. Students took assessments in the three differen...
15 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2004in The School science review
Christine Chin3
Estimated H-index: 3
This article reports on students approaches to learning science. In particular, it highlights the findings of three related research studies conducted by the author and teases out the implications for instructional practice in science classrooms. Areas of focus include: (a) the nature of students approaches to learning; (b) a comparison of the qualitative differences between deep and surface learning approaches; (c) the learning strategies associated with a deep approach; (d) the role of student...
4 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2004in Physical Review Letters 8.84
Moipolai Joseph Motswiri1
Estimated H-index: 1
With the assumption that exemplary curriculum materials have the potential to serve as an effective support for teachers implementing an innovative curriculum reform, this study was initiated in September 1999. Its aim was to investigate the characteristics of BGCSE exemplary curriculum materials (consisting of a teacher guide and students' materials) meant to support teachers in the implementation of formative assessment of investigative practical work in Form 4 upper secondary chemistry classe...
7 Citations
Steve Croker5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Illinois State University),
Heather Buchanan15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of Nottingham)
The impact of event outcome and prior belief on scientific reasoning was investigated within a real-world oral health context. Participants (N= 144; ranging from 3 to 11 years) were given hypothesis-testing tasks and asked to explain their answers. Participants were presented with information that was either consistent or inconsistent with their own beliefs. Each task consisted of scenarios in which the outcome was either good or bad oral health. When the information was belief consistent and th...
28 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2008
Manuel Travassos Valdez3
Estimated H-index: 3
C.I.F. Agreira3
Estimated H-index: 3
+ 1 AuthorsFernando Barbosa11
Estimated H-index: 11
In a competitive world such as ours, students must be prepared beforehand to be autonomous, industrious and skilful. Problem-based learning (PBL) is a methodology that can help the students to explore and put to use their own resources, and it can be applied to a wide range of students and subject matters. The project incorporates aspects of electrical engineering and computing skills. This study is dedicated to the learning process to help students to deal with the complexity of an electric pow...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 25, 1996
Andrew Cohen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Vanderbilt University)
Schools should foster cultures of understanding, that is, student communities that actively inquire and intentionally build common knowledge structures. This paper analyzed the affordances of the Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environment (CSILE) (Scardamalia, Bereiter, McLean, Swallow, & Woodruff, 1989), as compared to face-to-face collaboration for supporting cultures of understanding. The investigation was an analysis of twelve weeks of work involving thirty students in ten triads. T...
3 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2003in Chemical Engineering Science 3.31
Koen Veermans9
Estimated H-index: 9
27 Citations