A Case Study Of The Abductive Reasoning Processes
Of Pre-Service Elementary Education Students
In A Role Playing Setting concerning A Mock Senate Hearing
On Global Climate Change
Michael Eugene Petty
Advisor: Chairman Hans Andersen
Source: DAI, 63, no. 01A (2001): p. 133
Standard No: ISBN: 0-493-52031-7
Science education has a rich history of studies into the impact of analogical reasoning upon researcher and student alike. These have focused on how induction and deduction are utilized in determining the appropriateness of the analogy being scrutinized. Research in artificial intelligence has demonstrated that human cognition cannot be modeled with only inductive and deductive forms of logic. Charles S. Peirce proposed abduction as a form of logic central to the process of inquiry and discovery. This involves reasoning from observation to best explanation or hypothesis. Peirce's Theory of Signs provided the theoretical foundation and a model of abduction developed by Shank and Cunningham from Peirce's theory offered the conceptual basis for the study.
This study uses discourse analysis to attempt to understand the abductive reasoning processes of two groups of students as they interpret new information concerning the political and scientific perspective of the Greening Earth Society and the Center for Disease Control in an authentic, undergraduate-level classroom setting. The five students were members of a capstone course in science education for pre-service elementary education majors who had an interest in science education. The entire class was comprised of fourteen students partitioned into five groups for the culminating exercise for the course. Analysis was carried out using journal entries, audiotapes of planning sessions, a brief summary of their understanding, and videotapes of the mock Senate hearings. The results demonstrated that different members of the group arrived at their understanding using different pathways suggested by the model. While some proceeded linearly, others skipped some stages and later came back to find supportive evidence to strengthen their beliefs. The model is useful in understanding their abductive processes and may provide insight into how we might consider the process in the design of future curriculum for elementary science education.
Descriptor: EDUCATION, SCIENCES
EDUCATION, CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
EDUCATION, TEACHER TRAINING
Accession No: AAI3038542