Date of Original Version
Copyright LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC INC 2000
Abstract or Description
This article describes the first cycle of a multiyear research project aimed at establishing a common ground between educationally relevant psychological research and educational practice. We translated a theoretically motivated, carefully crafted, and laboratory-based instructional procedure of proven effectiveness into a classroom intervention, making minimal modifications to the instructional components and adapting to the constraints of an elementary school science classroom. Our intervention produced significant gains in fourth-grade students' ability to create controlled experiments, provide valid justifications for their experiments, and evaluate experiments designed by others. It also raised several new questions about how students understand sources of error during experimentation and how that understanding is related to their level of certainty about conclusions that are supported by the experimental outcomes. We view this report as part of a continuing research cycle that includes 3 phases: (a) use-inspired, basic research in the laboratory; (b) classroom verification of the laboratory findings; and (c) follow-up applied (classroom) and basic (laboratory) research.
COGNITION AND INSTRUCTION, 18, 4, 423-459.