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Evidence of students' content reasoning in relation to measure of reform Documents

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Evidence of students' content reasoning in relation to measure of reform 

written by Mojgan Matloob Haghanikar, Sytil K. Murphy, and Dean A. Zollman

As part of a study of the science preparation of elementary school teachers, we investigated the quality of students' reasoning and explored the relationship between sophistication of reasoning and the degree to which the courses are considered inquiry oriented. First, we devised written content questions, which were open ended with the distinguishing feature of applying recently learned concepts in a new context. All the questions developed were based on a common template that required students to recognize and generalize the relevant facts or concepts and their interrelationships to suggest an applicable or plausible theory. To evaluate students' answers, we developed a rubric based on Bloom's taxonomy as revised and expanded by Anderson. Along with analyzing students' reasoning, we visited 20 universities and observed the courses in which the students were enrolled. We ranked the courses with respect to characteristics that are valued for the inquiry courses. With the large amount of collected data, we found that the likelihood of the higher cognitive processes are in favor of classes with higher measures of inquiry.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 25, 2012

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