Scientific reasoning during adolescence: The influence of instruction in science knowledge and reasoning strategies

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Abstract

The mechanism linking instruction in scientific topics and instruction in logical reasoning strategies is not well understood. This study assesses the role of science topic instruction combined with logical reasoning strategy instruction in teaching adolescent students about blood pressure problems. Logical reasoning instruction for this study emphasizes the controlling-variables strategy. Science topic instruction emphasizes variables affecting blood pressure. Subjects receiving logical reasoning instruction link their knowledge of blood pressure variables to their knowledge of controlling variables more effectively than those receiving science topic instruction alone—their specific responses show how they attempt to integrate their understanding.

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