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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by J. Christopher Moore and Louis J. Rubbo
We have found that non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors taking either a conceptual physics or astronomy course at two regional comprehensive institutions score significantly lower preinstruction on the Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) in comparison to national average STEM majors. Based on LCTSR score, the majority of non-STEM students can be classified as either concrete operational or transitional reasoners in Piaget's theory of cognitive development, whereas in the STEM population formal operational reasoners are far more prevalent. In particular, non-STEM students demonstrate significant difficulty with proportional and hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Prescores on the LCTSR are correlated with normalized learning gains on various concept inventories. The correlation is strongest for content that can be categorized as mostly theoretical, meaning a lack of directly observable exemplars, and weakest for content categorized as mostly descriptive, where directly observable exemplars are abundant. Although the implementation of research-verified, interactive engagement pedagogy can lead to gains in content knowledge, significant gains in theoretical content (such as force and energy) are more difficult with non-STEM students. We also observe no significant gains on the LCTSR without explicit instruction in scientific reasoning patterns. These results further demonstrate that differences in student populations are important when comparing normalized gains on concept inventories, and the achievement of significant gains in scientific reasoning requires a reevaluation of the traditional approach to physics for non-STEM students.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
- Student Characteristics
General Physics
- Scientific Reasoning
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.8.010106
PACS:
01.40.G-
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 30, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
February 22, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 15, 2012
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Moore and L. Rubbo, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8 (1), 010106 (2012), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Moore and L. Rubbo, Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8 (1), 010106 (2012), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892>.
APA Format
Moore, J., & Rubbo, L. (2012, February 15). Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 8(1), 010106. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892
Chicago Format
Moore, J. Christopher, and Louis Rubbo. "Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8, no. 1, (February 15, 2012): 010106, http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892 (accessed 1 October 2014).
MLA Format
Moore, J. Christopher, and Louis Rubbo. "Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8.1 (2012): 010106. 1 Oct. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "J. Christopher Moore and Louis Rubbo", Title = {Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {8}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010106}, Month = {February}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A J. Christopher Moore
%A Louis Rubbo
%T Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 8
%N 1
%D February 15, 2012
%P 010106
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Moore, J. Christopher
%A Rubbo, Louis
%D February 15, 2012
%T Scientific reasoning abilities of nonscience majors in physics-based courses
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 8
%N 1
%P 010106
%8 February 15, 2012
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11920&DocID=2892


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