Session S55b (Tuesday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P616: Scientific reasoning: A well-understood construct?

Justin Carmel, Rose Marie Ward, Ellen Yezierski (Miami University, USA)

Chemistry teachers and professors have used a variety of methods to pre-assess and group their students.  One of these methods is the administration of the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR).  The LCTSR aims to measure 6 independent SR skills (proportional, probabilistic, correlational, hypothetico-deductive reasoning, control of variables, and mass/volume conservation) with 1-3 items devoted to each one. However, no work to date has produced a factor analysis that supports these skills as distinct constructs.  Through various analyses on a sample of SR tests from 200 students in a chemistry course for non-science majors, a more complex relationship between SR skills has emerged.  Using Structural Equation Modeling, feasible models have been constructed and assessed for their fit to the data.  Results will be presented which uncover and test the relationships among the various SR skills, helping to inform the way in which instruction may address such skills.

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