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Supporting evidence evaluation skills - Process support for evaluating sinking objects in an authentic inquiry learning environment

Richtering, Carolin (2012) Supporting evidence evaluation skills - Process support for evaluating sinking objects in an authentic inquiry learning environment.

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Abstract:Inquiry learning can promote the acquisition of science content if students are adequately supported during their investigations. The evaluation of evidence lies at the heart of the inquiry process. Given the many difficulties young students experience with observing, interpreting, and generalizing from evidence, these skills require additional support. The present study examined whether process support prompts can enhance students’ performance of evidence evaluation skills and hence the acquisition of science content. Fifty-seven seventh graders from a comprehensive school took part in an authentic inquiry task about sinking objects where misconceptions were likely to exist. Students in both experimental conditions received process support prompts that structured, exemplified, and problematized the initial task. For students in the full support condition, this support addressed the skills involved in observation, interpretation, and generalization. Students in the observation support condition only received the prompts that supported observation skills, whereas students in the control condition received no support at all. Overall results were disappointing. The mastery of evidence evaluation skills could only be promoted to some extent by the support. Gain in science content could not be detected. These findings raise questions about more adequate ways of implementing process support and the conditions under which better evidence evaluation skills lead to a gain in science content
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62345
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