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Documenting the use of expert scientific reasoning processes by high school physics students Documents

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Main Document

Documenting the use of expert scientific reasoning processes by high school physics students 

written by A. Lynn Stephens and John J. Clement

We describe a methodology for identifying evidence for the use of three types of scientific reasoning. In two case studies of high school physics classes, we used this methodology to identify multiple instances of students using analogies, extreme cases, and Gedanken experiments. Previous case studies of expert scientists have indicated that these processes can be central during scientific model construction; here we code for their spontaneous use by students. We document evidence for numerous instances of these forms of reasoning in these classes. Most of these instances were associated with motion- and force-indicating depictive gestures, which we take as one kind of evidence for the use of animated mental imagery. Altogether, this methodology shows promise for use in highlighting the role of nonformal reasoning in student learning and for investigating the possible association of animated mental imagery with scientific reasoning processes.

This article is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License by the American Physical Society. The citation is: A. Lynn Stephens and John J. Clement, Documenting the use of expert scientific reasoning processes by high school physics students, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Ed. Res. 6 (2), 020122 (2010), 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.6.020122.

Published November 24, 2010
Last Modified May 16, 2012

This file is included in the full-text index.

Supplemental Documents

Appendices A-C for "Documenting the use of expert scientific reasoning processes by high school physics students" 

Appendix A: Spectrum of Analysis Methods for Clinical Studies
Appendix B: Selected Gesture Literature
Appendix C: Coding for spontaneous student use of expert reasoning processes in two classroom discussions

This supplemental material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License by the American Physical Society. The citation for the original article is: A. Lynn Stephens and John J. Clement, Documenting the use of expert scientific reasoning processes by high school physics students, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Ed. Res. 6 (2), 020122 (2010), 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.6.020122.

Published November 24, 2010
Last Modified May 16, 2012

This file is included in the full-text index.