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diSessa, Andrea A. – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
There are many meanings of "scientific reasoning" or "scientific inquiry" in use, and many corresponding orientations toward its enhancement and tracking. Deciding what these terms mean once and for all is an elusive and likely chimerical goal. However, setting down some core models might help in being clear on where different researchers stand…
Descriptors: Scientific Methodology, Inquiry, Definitions, Pragmatics
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Hill, Heather C.; Blunk, Merrie L.; Charalambous, Charalambos Y.; Lewis, Jennifer M.; Phelps, Geoffrey C.; Sleep, Laurie; Ball, Deborah Loewenberg – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
This study illuminates claims that teachers' mathematical knowledge plays an important role in their teaching of this subject matter. In particular, we focus on teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT), which includes both the mathematical knowledge that is common to individuals working in diverse professions and the mathematical…
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Teacher Competencies
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Kuhn, Deanna; Pease, Maria – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
To identify the challenges that students must meet to engage in effective self-directed inquiry, a class was followed for three years, from the fourth through the sixth grades, as they engaged in a sequence of progressively more demanding inquiry activities. Students made substantial progress in understanding the objectives of inquiry, identifying…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Longitudinal Studies, Independent Study, Active Learning
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Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Barrows, Howard S. – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
This article describes a detailed analysis of knowledge building in a problem-based learning group. Knowledge building involves increasing the collective knowledge of a group through social discourse. For knowledge building to occur in the classroom, the teacher needs to create opportunities for constructive discourse in order to support student…
Descriptors: Medical Students, Problem Based Learning, Inquiry, Group Behavior
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Levy, Sharona T.; Wilensky, Uri – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
There has been a body of emerging research describing students' understanding of complex systems. This research has primarily studied students understanding of complex phenomena in science. However, complex phenomena are also pervasive in everyday life. Children observe and participate in them daily. How do they reason about such ordinary complex…
Descriptors: Social Systems, Student Attitudes, Grade 6, Intervention
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Izsak, Andrew – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
The present study contrasts mathematical knowledge that two sixth-grade teachers apparently used when teaching fraction multiplication with the Connected Mathematics Project materials. The analysis concentrated on those tasks from the materials that use drawings to represent fractions as length or area quantities. Examining the two teachers'…
Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Grade 6, Teacher Attitudes
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Kapur, Manu – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
This study demonstrates an existence proof for "productive failure": engaging students in solving complex, ill-structured problems without the provision of support structures can be a productive exercise in failure. In a computer-supported collaborative learning setting, eleventh-grade science students were randomly assigned to one of…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Grade 11, Science Education, Computer Uses in Education
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Li, Xiaobao; Ding, Meixia; Capraro, Mary Margaret; Capraro, Robert M. – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
This study reports findings from comparative samples of sixth-grade Chinese and U.S. students' interpretations of the equal sign. Ninety-eight percent of the Chinese sample correctly answered 4 items indicating conceptions of equality and provided conceptually accurate explanations. In contrast, only 28% of the U.S. sample performed at this level.…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Comparative Analysis, Symbols (Mathematics), Grade 6
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Speer, Natasha M. – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
Findings about mathematics teachers' beliefs typically involve broad characterizations of those beliefs that are compared with general descriptions of practices. Teacher development research suggests that changes happen effectively from attention to specific practices. Few investigations of beliefs and practices are done at this level of detail.…
Descriptors: College Mathematics, Investigations, Mathematics Teachers, Teaching Methods
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Casey, Beth M.; Andrews, Nicole; Schindler, Holly; Kersh, Joanne E.; Samper, Alexandra; Copley, Juanita – Cognition and Instruction, 2008
This study investigated the use of block-building interventions to develop spatial-reasoning skills in kindergartners. Two intervention conditions and a control condition were included to determine, first, whether the block building activities themselves benefited children's spatial skills, and secondly, whether a story context further improved…
Descriptors: Visualization, Spatial Ability, Intervention, Kindergarten
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Liu, Yan; Thompson, Patrick – Cognition and Instruction, 2007
Probability is an important idea with a remarkably wide range of applications. However, psychological and instructional studies conducted in the last two decades have consistently documented poor understanding of probability among different populations across different settings. The purpose of this study is to develop a theoretical framework for…
Descriptors: Statistics, Probability, Comprehension, Secondary School Teachers
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Staples, Megan – Cognition and Instruction, 2007
Recent mathematics education reform efforts call for the instantiation of mathematics classroom environments where students have opportunities to reason and construct their understandings as part of a community of learners. Despite some successes, traditional models of instruction still dominate the educational landscape. This limited success can…
Descriptors: Educational Strategies, Academic Achievement, Educational Change, Mathematics Education
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Nolen, Susan Bobbitt – Cognition and Instruction, 2007
In a 3-year longitudinal, mixed-method study, 67 children in two schools were observed during literacy activities in Grades 1-3. Children and their teachers were interviewed each year about the children's motivation to read and write. Taking a grounded theory approach, content analysis of the child interview protocols identified the motivations…
Descriptors: Content Analysis, Student Motivation, Reading Attitudes, Writing Attitudes
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diSessa, Andrea – Cognition and Instruction, 2007
Clinical interviewing is viewed here as a social interactional pattern in order to examine the nature and limits of the technique as a means of scientific data acquisition. I defend the technique against criticisms that it is ecologically suspect and prone to systematic biases, mainly due to influence of the interviewer on the interviewee or to…
Descriptors: Interaction, Ethics, Interviews, Data Collection
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Duncan, Ravit Golan – Cognition and Instruction, 2007
Promoting the ability to reason generatively about novel phenomena and problems students may encounter in their everyday lives is a major goal of science education. This goal proves to be a formidable challenge in domains, such as molecular genetics, for which the accumulated scientific understandings are daunting in both amount and complexity. To…
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Genetics, Novels, Science Education
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