Development of Students’ Critical-Reasoning Skills Through Content-Focused Activities in a General Education Course

by: Heidi S. Fenci

Students in a general education science course made significant gains in scientific reasoning skills when they were taught using carefully designed hands-on activities and writing assignments. The activities required students to make use of scientific skills such as graphing, predicting outcomes under changing conditions, or designing experiments, and students were asked questions about the activities that required verbal interpretation of the scientific representations. Writing assignments required students to relate physics content into real-world topics. Students using such focused activities and assignments made significantly higher gains on the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning compared with students using control activities and showed significant gains in their ability to critically read a science-based newspaper article.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 5/1/2010Stock # jcst10_039_05_56Volume 039Issue 05

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