ERIC Number: ED340605
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-10
Reference Count: N/A
An Analysis of the Relationship between Student-Invented Hypotheses and the Development of Reflective Thinking Strategies.
Westbrook, Susan L.; Rogers, Laura N.
A study was designed to test the hypothesis that a descriptive-type learning cycle was insufficient to stimulate students to reason at a reflective level or to develop an understanding of, and facility with, the processes of scientific investigation. In order to test the hypothesis, four classes of ninth-grade physical science students (n=100) participated in a series of three learning cycles on simple machines. All students engaged in descriptive-type exploration activities followed by invention discussions. The control group conducted prescribed experiments, one experimental group designed experiments to answer a teacher-provided question, and another experimental group generated and tested its own hypothesis. The effects of the treatments were assessed through a pretest-posttest design using Lawson's Seven Logic Tasks, The Test of Integrated Process Skills, and Lawson's revised Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (CTSR). All significant gains were made by the two experimental groups. Females in all three groups scored significantly lower than males on the CTSR posttest, although the gender effect was neutralized when students were categorized according to Lawson's criteria for concrete, transitional, and formal. (31 references, 3 tables) (KR)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Critical Thinking, Grade 9, High Schools, Hypothesis Testing, Learning Processes, Physical Sciences, Pretests Posttests, Problem Solving, Process Education, Research Design, Science Education, Science Experiments, Secondary School Science, Teaching Methods, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A