ERIC Number: ED453249
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
The Influence of Anomalies on Knowledge Construction and Scientific Reasoning during Inquiry.
The knowledge construction and scientific reasoning of two classes of seventh grade students (22 to 24 students in each class) were examined during a 3-week inquiry unit in genetics, in which anomalies were used as a catalyst for conceptual change. During the unit, students used genetics simulation software to mate fruit flies that varied on a single trait (e.g., eye color) to produce offspring. Inherent in the data that students were investigating were two anomalous inheritance patterns. Based on pretest/posttest analyses, students significantly improved overall in their ability to explain the anomalous inheritance patterns. However, the improvement was not symmetric. Approximately 80% of students were able to explain the more frequently occurring anomalous pattern relative to only 53% who were able to explain the less frequently occurring pattern. Examination of student hypotheses and testing patterns indicated that students were sensitive to the relative difference in anomalous outcomes during their investigations. They were more likely to propose hypotheses for the more frequently occurring anomaly and also more likely to run the test that could produce that outcome. In contrast, they were least likely to run the test that produced no anomalous outcomes, and slightly more likely to conduct the test for the less frequently occurring anomaly. It was concluded that the percentage of anomalous outcomes influenced the extent to which students proposed hypotheses, ran tests, and constructed explanations for these outcomes. (Contains 6 tables and 18 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001). This paper is based on a doctoral dissertation submitted to the State University of New York at Albany.