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The nature of advanced reasoning and science instruction
Abstract
Although the development of reasoning is recognized as an important goal of science instruction, its nature remains somewhat of a mystery. This article discusses two key questions: Does formal thought constitute a structured whole? And what role does propositional logic play in advanced reasoning? Aspects of a model of advanced reasoning are presented in which hypothesis generation and testing are viewed as central processes in intellectual development. It is argued that a number of important advanced reasoning schemata are linked by these processes and should be made a part of science instruction designed to improve students' reasoning abilities. Concerning students' development and use of formal reasoning, Linn (1982) calls for research into practical issues such as the roles of task-specific knowledge and individual differences in performance, roles not emphasized by Piaget in his theory and research. From a science teacher's point of view, this is good advice. Accordingly, this article will expand upon some of the issues raised by Linn in a discussion of the nature of advanced reasoning which attempts to reconcile the apparent contradiction between students' differential use of advanced reasoning schemata in varying contexts with the notion of a general stage of formal thought. Two key questions will be discussed: Does formal thought constitute a structured whole? And what role does propositional logic play in advanced reasoning? The underlying assumption of the present discussion is that, among other things, science instruction should concern itself with the improvement of students' reasoning abilities (cf. Arons, 1976; Arons & Karplus, 1976; Bady, 1979; Bauman, 1976; Educational Policies Commission, 1966; Herron, 1978; Karplus, 1979; Kohlberg & Mayer, 1972; Moshman & Thompson, 1981; Lawson, 1979; Levine & linn, 1977; Pallrand, 1977; Renner & Lawson, 1973; Sayre & Ball, 1975; Schneider & Renner, 1980; Wollman, 1978). The questions are of interest because to date they lack clear answers, yet clear answers are necessary if we hope to design effective instruction in reasoning.
  • References (41)
  • Cited By (68)
1972 in Harvard Educational Review [IF: 2.67]
Lawrence Kohlberg44
Estimated H-index: 44
,
Rochelle Mayer2
Estimated H-index: 2
The authors offer an explanation of the psychological and philosophical positions underlying aspects of educational progressivism. They contrast tenets of progressivism, most clearly identified with the work of John Dewey, with two other educational ideologies, the romantic and the cultural transmission conceptions, which historically have competed in the minds of educators as rationales for the choice of educational goals and practices. Kohlberg and Mayer maintain that only progressivism, with ...
Ref 6Cited 461
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1978 in Psychological Review [IF: 7.64]
Martin D. S. Braine5
Estimated H-index: 5
(York University)
Ref 25Cited 446 Source Cite this paper
Anton E. Lawson41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Arizona State University),
Robert Karplus23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of California, Berkeley),
Helen Adi6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Northern Illinois University)
Ref 24Cited 83
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Marcia C. Linn59
Estimated H-index: 59
(University of California, Berkeley)
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 fa...
Ref 46Cited 39
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Max Black21
Estimated H-index: 21
,
Alice Ambrose4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Morris Lazerowitz4
Estimated H-index: 4
Cited 10 Source Cite this paper
Elizabeth F. Karplus5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of California, Berkeley),
Robert Karplus23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of California, Berkeley)
Cited 48
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Robert J. Ross2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Mississippi State University)
Sixty-five undergraduates were tested on five formal thinking tasks and the verbal and figural sections of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. The percentage of students operating at the formal level for three of the four ordinally scored formal problems was significantly above the 50% figure usually reported with a more intellectually representative sample of adolescents. It was suggested that the norms developed by Piaget for formal tasks were more suitable for a cognitively superior popu...
Ref 18Cited 20
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Anton E. Lawson41
Estimated H-index: 41
(University of California, Berkeley),
Floyd H. Nordland10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Purdue University)
Ref 11Cited 31
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  • References (41)
  • Cited By (68)
Betty L. Bitner-Corvin1
Estimated H-index: 1
The Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) (Roadrangka, Yeany, & Padilla, 1982) was used to determine the reasoning level of a convenience sample of seventh through twelfth grade students (N = 156) and logical thinking as a unitary construct. Eleven percent of the sample measured formal operational on the GALT. The results of the cne-way ANOVA (GALT by grade) was significant in favor of the tenth grads group. Significant t-values were found in favor of the males on the conservation mode, co...
Ref 19Cited 4
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Megan N. Anderson (Purdue University)
Anderson, Megan N. M.S., Purdue University, May 2014. The Influence of an Advanced Agriculture & Life Science Course on Students’ Views of the Nature of Science. Major Professor: Levon Esters One of the goals in today’s society is to ensure that students exiting school have the ability to understand, develop, and comprehend scientific information. For students to be able to meet these goals, it is imperative that they become scientifically literate and understand the concept of the Nature of Sci...
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Katerina Malamitsa3
Estimated H-index: 3
(National and Kapodistrian University of Athens),
Michael Kasoutas2
Estimated H-index: 2
(National and Kapodistrian University of Athens),
Panagiotis Kokkotas4
Estimated H-index: 4
(National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
Historically, the most prominent and influential concepts regarding Critical Thinking were advanced by Ennis (1987), Paul, Binker and Weil (1995), Lippman (1991), Siegel (1988) and Sternberg (1985a, b; 1987) among others. However, due to the great difficulty in defining and therefore in assessing Critical Thinking, these conceptualizations only revealed different and often contradictory aspects of Critical Thinking instead of leading to a coherent theory. These multiple conceptualizations reflec...
Ref 41
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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. February 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Frances P. Lawrenz. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 232 pages, appendices A-I.
Ref 67 Source
Erin E. Peters-Burton6
Estimated H-index: 6
(George Mason University)
The purpose of this study was to describe connections among students’ views of nature of science in relation to the goals of a curriculum delivered in a unique setting, one where a researcher and two teachers collaborated to develop a course devoted to teaching students about how knowledge is built in science. Students proceeded through a cycle of self-regulated phases, forethought, performance, and self-reflection, during each segment of the curriculum: (a) independent research, (b) knowledge b...
Ref 65Cited 3
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Hector N. Torres2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Dana L. Zeidler25
Estimated H-index: 25
The purpose of this paper was to examine the effects of English language proficiency and levels of reasoning skills of Hispanic English language learners and native English language speaking students on their acquisition of science content knowledge as measured by a state-wide standardized science test. The authors suggest that the levels of English language proficiency appear to influence the acquisition of science content knowledge of Hispanic English language learners in the study. The result...
Ref 37Cited 28
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