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Detecting Progression of Scientific Reasoning among University Science and Engineering Students Documents

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Detecting Progression of Scientific Reasoning among University Science and Engineering Students 

written by Lin Ding

Scientific reasoning is not a de-contextualized construct; instead, its development and deployment intimately relates to content learning. Drawing on this framework and driven by the instructional goals of many college-level courses that are aimed at both knowledge acquisition and skill development, this study investigates the extent to which undergraduate students' scientific reasoning skills vary in relation to two aspects of content learning: quantity and domain. Students from different year levels (years 1-4) and two majors (science and engineering) were recruited to complete the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR). These students represented respectively individuals exposed to different quantities and domains of content learning. Results show that, regardless of their major, student reasoning skills measured by the LCTSR remained largely constant across the four years of higher education, with no significant difference between science and engineering. These results call attention to the status quo of undergraduate education and have implications for future improvement.

Published February 1, 2014
Last Modified January 30, 2014

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