NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ796499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 31
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
"Grasp of Practice" as a Reasoning Resource for Inquiry and Nature of Science Understanding
Ford, Michael
Science & Education, v17 n2-3 p147-177 Feb 2008
This article articulates how a "grasp of practice" serves as a reasoning resource for inquiry and citizenship abilities associated with nature of science (NOS) understanding. Theoretically, this resource is elaborated through an overlapping concern with "practice" in two literatures, science studies and psychology of learning, bringing attention to two key roles in scientific practice, Critiquers and Constructors of claims. Empirically, this resource is made plausible by the results of an expert-novice study and a classroom study. In the expert-novice study, reactions of scientists and laypeople to science-related claims in the popular media were contrasted, underlining the appropriate ways scientists tend to Critique such claims. In the classroom study, sixth-grade students engaged in a 2-week ramp experiment, experiencing first hand the roles of Critiquers and Constructors of claims, and were subsequently assessed with a novel experimental task. Performances suggest that students had attained a grasp of practice, going well beyond mere execution of methods or procedures. These results challenge a common assumption that declarative knowledge best characterizes learning targets for supporting inquiry and NOS understanding.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A