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Engelmann, Katharina; Neuhaus, Birgit J.; Fischer, Frank (2016): Fostering scientific reasoning in education - meta-analytic evidence from intervention studies. In: Educational Research and Evaluation, Vol. 22, No. 5-6: pp. 333-349
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Abstract

Scientific reasoning skills are not just for researchers, they are also increasingly relevant for making informed decisions in our everyday lives. How can these skills be facilitated? The current state of research on supporting scientific reasoning includes intervention studies but lacks an integrated analysis of the approaches to foster scientific reasoning in primary through secondary education. This meta-analysis evaluates effect sizes taken from 30 interventions in experimental and quasi-experimental studies and shows a medium mean effect of interventions on scientific reasoning. Interventions successfully facilitate scientific discovery, scientific argumentation, or nature of science in all age groups. Moderator analyses show that interventions set in constructive and interactive learning activities yield positive effects but do not differ substantially. Although the meta-analysis is limited by the number of studies included, we can conclude that scientific reasoning can successfully be facilitated and we show which characteristics are beneficial in educational interventions.