Paper No. 306-1
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM
THE CRITICAL EVALUATION TASK (CET) AS AN INSTRUCTIONAL SCAFFOLD TO SUPPORT EVIDENCE-BASED REASONING: ANALYSIS OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
Critical evaluation is an expert skill and practice in the geoscience community as it forms the basis for collaborative argumentation, determining the plausibility of an explanatory model, collegial peer review, and scientifically valid knowledge construction. The Critical Evaluation Task (CET) was developed as part of the Model-evidence Link (MEL) Diagram intervention and implemented in four urban and suburban high school Earth science classrooms in the U.S. Students completing the CET were tasked with identifying flaws in two knowledge claims, one for and one against recycling. These flaws were evaluated for evidence of reasoned refutation of claims including use of substantiated counterclaims. Analysis of student performance outcomes on the CET from Year 1 (2013-2014) and Year 2 (2014-2015) show that despite an individual opinion and/or practice of recycling, students were efficacious at identifying well-reasoned flaws on both sides of the knowledge claim. In other words, bias did not present as a factor in the Critical Evaluation Task. These results are promising in two respects—there is evidence that the CET supports critical evaluation in the form of determining fit of evidence to a knowledge claim, and is an effective strategy for scientific reasoning.
This presentation will focus on results of the NSF-funded study, Developing Critical Evaluation as a Scientific Habit of Mind: Instructional Scaffolds for Secondary Earth and Space Sciences and include discussion of potential cognitive mechanisms that may serve as explanations for results presented.