Students' Understanding of the Objectives and Procedures of Experimentation in the Science Classroom

Leona Schauble, Robert Glaser, Richard A. Duschl, Sharon Schulze, Jenny John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As part of a project to identify opportunities for reasoning that occur in good but typical science classrooms, this study focuses on how sixth graders reason about the goals and strategies of experimentation and laboratory activities in school. Collaborating with teachers, we explore whether reasoning can be deepened by developing instruction that capitalizes more effectively on the classroom opportunities that arise for fostering complex thinking and understanding. The design of the study includes (a) a baseline interview probing students' understanding of experimentation in the context of a standard, 40-min “hands-on” activity that is part of the standard sixth-grade curriculum; (b) a 3-week teaching study, in which five teachers, informed by the cognitive science research concerning the development of scientific reasoning, designed and taught a special experimentation unit in their classrooms; and (c) a series of follow-up interviews, in which students' understanding of experimentation was reexamined. The findings from the two learning contexts—one more supportive of student reasoning than the other—inform us about the kinds of reasoning that are developing in middle-school students and the forms of instruction best suited to exercising those developing skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-166
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of the Learning Sciences
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1995

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Students
classroom
science
student
Interviews
instruction
Cognitive Science
Foster Home Care
teacher
interview
Curriculum
Teaching
Learning
curriculum
Research
school
learning
Thinking

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Schauble, Leona ; Glaser, Robert ; Duschl, Richard A. ; Schulze, Sharon ; John, Jenny. / Students' Understanding of the Objectives and Procedures of Experimentation in the Science Classroom. In: Journal of the Learning Sciences. 1995 ; Vol. 4, No. 2. pp. 131-166.
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Students' Understanding of the Objectives and Procedures of Experimentation in the Science Classroom. / Schauble, Leona; Glaser, Robert; Duschl, Richard A.; Schulze, Sharon; John, Jenny.

In: Journal of the Learning Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 2, 01.04.1995, p. 131-166.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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