Using Relational Reasoning to Learn About Scientific Phenomena at Unfamiliar Scales

36Citations
Citations of this article
82Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text

Abstract

Many scientific theories and discoveries involve reasoning about extreme scales, removed from human experience, such as time in geology and size in nanoscience. Thus, understanding scale is central to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Unfortunately, novices have trouble understanding and comparing sizes of unfamiliar large and small magnitudes. Relational reasoning is a promising tool to bridge the gap between direct experience and phenomena at extreme scales. However, instruction does not always improve understanding, and analogies can fail to bring about conceptual change, and even mislead students. Here, we review how people reason about phenomena across scales, in three sections: (a) we develop a framework for how relational reasoning supports understanding extreme scales; (b) we identify cognitive barriers to aligning human and extreme scales; and (c) we outline a theory-based approach to teaching scale information using relational reasoning, present two successful learning activities, and consider the role of a unified scale instruction across STEM education.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Resnick, I., Davatzes, A., Newcombe, N. S., & Shipley, T. F. (2017, March 1). Using Relational Reasoning to Learn About Scientific Phenomena at Unfamiliar Scales. Educational Psychology Review. Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-016-9371-5

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free