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ERIC Number: EJ925586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0579
Beyond Math Skills: Measuring Quantitative Reasoning in Context
Grawe, Nathan D.
New Directions for Institutional Research, n149 p41-52 Spr 2011
It might be argued that quantitative and qualitative analyses are merely two alternative reflections of an overarching critical thinking. For instance, just as instructors of numeracy warn their charges to consider the construction of variables, teachers of qualitative approaches caution students to define terms. Similarly, an advocate of quantitative reasoning (QR) who demands students eschew "weasel words" such as "many" and "few" in place of actual figures is mimicked by the humanist demanding that pupils demonstrate precision in language. These connections may be true at an abstract level, but QR requires specific skills not usually required by generic critical thinking. For example, QR necessitates an understanding of what statistical significance means and how it is distinct from practical significance or the ability to effectively communicate information through charts and tables. It is exactly this that motivates a growing literature teaching concepts specific to thinking critically with quantitative evidence. This article describes recent attempts to measure context-rich application of QR. Initial evidence suggests that teaching to explicitly stated learning goals--whether in the context of a limited cluster of courses or in offerings across the curriculum--can shape student aptitude. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A