The relationship between science process skill and formal thinking abilities



The purpose of this study is to examine integrated process skill and formal thinking abilities of middle and high school students and determine the relationship, if any, between the two. A relationship was thought to exist since both sets of skills strongly emphasize conducting fair experiments as well as other abilities. Pencil and paper measures of formal operational and integrated process skill achievement were given to almost 500 grade 7–12 students. Resulting correlations showed a strong relationship between achievement on the two meansures (r = 0.73) and all subtests of both measures. Factor analysis data corroborate the correlational evidence. One potential inference to be drawn from these results is that process skill teaching might influence formal thinking ability. A follow-up experimental study will determine this.