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Elementary students' laboratory record keeping during scientific inquiry


Garcia-Mila, Merce; Andersen, Christopher; Rojo, Nubia E.


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Abstract The present study examines the mutual interaction between students’ writing and scientific reasoning among 6th grade students (age 11-12 years) engaged in scientific inquiry. The experimental task was designed to promote spontaneous record keeping compared to previous task designs by increasing the saliency of task requirements, with the design goal of making the relationship between record keeping and inquiry strategies more explicit and visible. Compared to previous studies, this new task design resulted both in a higher amount of record keeping overall and in a higher quality of information, which is interpreted to be a result of increased participants’ metatask and metastrategic knowledge arising from greater engagement with the task. The study found a significant relationship between the quality of students’ record keeping and the inquiry strategies that were investigated. However, this relationship varied depending on the type of inquiry strategy. Strategies that are employed during the design of experiments [i.e., factorial combination and control of variables (CVS)] were statistically related to the number of complete comments (plans and intents), but not with the total number of comments. In contrast, the study found that for strategies employed while evaluating evidence (i.e., drawing inferences), student production of quality records is a necessary but not sufficient condition for effective evidence evaluation; in addition to recording high-quality information, students must also review their records (both from design and evaluation phases).
Klassifikation Bildungswesen Primarbereich; Allgemeine Psychologie
Freie Schlagwörter Elementary school; Inquiry; Laboratory work; Metacognition; Reasoning; Record keeping
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2010
Seitenangabe S. 915-942
Zeitschriftentitel International Journal of Science Education, 33 (2010) 7
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2010.480986
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)