Supporting student construction of alternative lines of reasoning
Publication Name: 2021 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
Publication URL: https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2021.pr.Mays
An emerging body of research suggests that, even after research-based instruction, poor student performance on certain physics tasks may stem primarily from domain-general reasoning phenomena rather than from a lack of conceptual understanding. The reasoning patterns (and inconsistencies) reported in these studies may be explained by dual-process theories of reasoning (DPToR). In order to help students strengthen their reasoning skills and support increased cognitive reflection, there is a need to design and test instructional intervention strategies that leverage DPToR and that may ultimately guide the development of research-based curricular materials that attend to the nature of human reasoning more explicitly. This investigation focused on an intervention designed to support analytical processing in which students were asked to set aside their own reasoning and engage in alternative lines of reasoning. In the intervention, students first responded to a qualitative physics task, then constructed reasoning chains in support of answers to that task given by two fictitious students, and finally revisited the original physics task. Analysis revealed that this intervention was successful at improving student performance. Furthermore, it appears to have supported students regardless of their cognitive reflection skills, and its effectiveness may potentially be correlated with the quality of reasoning chains generated in support of the correct fictitious student’s response.
Mays, M., Stetzer, M.R., & Lindsey, B. A. (2021). Supporting student construction of alternative lines of reasoning. In M. B. Bennett, B. W. Frank, & R. E. Vieyra (Eds.), 2021 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (pp. 277–282). American Association of Physics Teachers. https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2021.pr.Mays