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The ability to design unconfounded experiments and make valid inferences from their outcomes is an essential skill in scientific reasoning. The present study addressed an important issue in scientific reasoning and cognitive development: how children acquire a domain-general processing strategy (Control of Variables Strategy or CVS) and generalize it across(More)
The purpose of the two studies reported here wos to develop an integrated model of the scientific reasoning process. Subjects were placed in a simulated scientific discovery context by first teaching them how to use an electronic device and then asking them to discover how a hitherto unencountered function worked. To do this task. subjects had to formulate(More)
In this article we investigate preschool children's understanding of indeterminacy by examining their ability to distinguish between determinate situations--in which the available evidence eliminates all uncertainty about an outcome--and indeterminate situations--in which it does not. We argue that a full understanding of indeterminacy requires the(More)
Scientific discovery involves search in a space of hypotheses and a space of experiments. We describe an investigation of developmental differences in the search constraint heuristics used in scientific reasoning. Sixty-four subjects (technically trained college students, community college students with little technical training, 6th graders, and 3rd(More)
This review integrates 4 major approaches to the study of science—historical accounts of scientific discoveries, psychological experiments with nonscientists working on tasks related to scientific discoveries, direct observation of ongoing scientific laboratories, and computational modeling of scientific discovery processes—by viewing them through the lens(More)
The widespread availability of computers in elementary schools makes them an appealing option for presenting instructional materials in laboratory science. However, there are neither theoretical nor empirical grounds for predicting whether virtual or physical presentation of instructional materials will be more effective. The definition of “active(More)
‘‘Hands-on’’ activities play an important, but controversial, role in early science education. In this study we attempt to clarify some of the issues surrounding the controversy by calling attention to distinctions between: (a) type of instruction (direct or discovery); (b) type of knowledge to be acquired (domain-general or domain-specific); and (c) type(More)