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ERIC Number: EJ1148318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1521-0251
Learning Scientific Reasoning Skills May Be Key to Retention in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Jensen, Jamie L.; Neeley, Shannon; Hatch, Jordan B.; Piorczynski, Ted
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v19 n2 p126-144 Aug 2017
The United States produces too few Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates to meet demand. We investigated scientific reasoning ability as a possible factor in STEM retention. To do this, we classified students in introductory biology courses at a large private university as either declared STEM or non-STEM majors and assessed their reasoning ability using the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning. We then obtained their declared majors 1 to 4 years later. We found that reasoning ability correlates with high-level performance and final course grades. In addition, results indicate that STEM majors have higher reasoning skills than non-STEM majors but not until after the freshman year. However, we show that reasoning ability does not predict retention or declaration of a STEM degree and suggests instead that increased reasoning skills are a product of learning. We suggest educational interventions that may plug the leaky pipeline in STEM education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A