Research in Science Education

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 199–207 | Cite as

A case study of scientific reasoning

  • Campbell McRobbie
  • Lyn English


Concern is increasingly being expressed about the teaching of higher order thinking skills in schools and the levels of understanding of scientific concepts by students. Metaphors for the improvement of science education have included science as exploration and science as process skills for experimentation. As a result of a series of studies on how children relate evidence to their theories or beliefs, Kuhn (1993a) has suggested that changing the metaphor to science as argument may be a fruitful way to increase the development of higher order thinking skills and understanding in science instruction. This report is of a case study into the coordination of evidence and theories by a grade 7 primary school student. This student was not able to coordinate these elements in a way that would enable her to rationally consider evidence in relation to her theories. It appeared that the thinking skills associated with science as argument were similar for her in different domains of knowledge and context.


Primary School Science Education Scientific Concept Thinking Skill Scientific Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Campbell McRobbie
    • 1
  • Lyn English
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Mathematics and Science EducationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane

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