Title

Facilitating Successful Prediction Problem Solving in Biology Through Application of Skill Theory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-1996

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify cognitive factors associated with differences in prediction problem‐solving success among high school biology students, and to determine whether guided practice facilitated successful prediction. The Group Assessment of Logical Thinking was used to evaluate subjects' cognitive operational level, written prediction worksheets and think‐aloud interviews were used to measure predictive success and identify problem‐solving tendencies. Treatment group subjects received 8 hr of directed prediction practice using interactive computer simulations, whereas the control group practiced prediction without focusing on specific skills, after which all subjects were retested. Predictive reasoning success showed a significant correlation (p < .01) to both formal operational development and five specific cognitive skills: (a) identifying relevant knowledge in long‐term memory, (b) using a systematic problem‐solving strategy, (c) applying cause‐effect reasoning, (d) reviewing solutions for logical inconsistency, and (e) evaluating alternative solutions. Analysis of covariance indicated significantly increased prediction success for treatment group subjects following practice in the five identified skills (p < .01). © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Research in Science Teaching

Volume

33

Issue

5

First Page

541

Last Page

552

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