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Abstract Title: Relation of scientific reasoning to solving different physics problem types
Abstract: In recent years researchers have compared scientific reasoning abilities of students in introductory physics courses with conceptual learning.  This research suggests students with more formal reasoning patterns are more proficient learners.  However, little has been done to investigate how scientific reasoning abilities relate to ability to solve different types of problems, including those based on the application of simple algorithms and those which depend on conceptual understanding.  In this pilot study we compared student scientific reasoning abilities, as measured by Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning, to student ability to correctly solve both problem types on midterm and final examinations.  Results indicate that students with higher reasoning abilities perform equally well on both problem types while students of lower reasoning abilities struggle in solving problems that depend on conceptual understanding.  This suggests that students with lower reasoning abilities may depend more readily on memorization of simple procedures to solve problems.
Abstract Type: Roundtable Discussion

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Carol Fabby
University of Cincinnati
4393 Dane
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Phone: 513-325-7754
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kathleen Koenig, University of Cincinnati