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ERIC Number: EJ1130686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 98
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1040-726X
Using Relational Reasoning to Learn about Scientific Phenomena at Unfamiliar Scales
Resnick, Ilyse; Davatzes, Alexandra; Newcombe, Nora S.; Shipley, Thomas F.
Educational Psychology Review, v29 n1 p11-25 Mar 2017
Many scientific theories and discoveries involve reasoning about extreme scales, removed from human experience, such as time in geology and size in nanoscience. Thus, understanding scale is central to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Unfortunately, novices have trouble understanding and comparing sizes of unfamiliar large and small magnitudes. Relational reasoning is a promising tool to bridge the gap between direct experience and phenomena at extreme scales. However, instruction does not always improve understanding, and analogies can fail to bring about conceptual change, and even mislead students. Here, we review how people reason about phenomena across scales, in three sections: (a) we develop a framework for how relational reasoning supports understanding extreme scales; (b) we identify cognitive barriers to aligning human and extreme scales; and (c) we outline a theory-based approach to teaching scale information using relational reasoning, present two successful learning activities, and consider the role of a unified scale instruction across STEM education. [For the full text of this report, see ED566931.]
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail: service-ny@springer.com; Web site: http://www.springerlink.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: SBE0541957; SBE1041707; R305B130012