Date of Award

Fall 12-9-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Peter Veronesi

Abstract

As science education has progressed over the last several decades, there has been a shift towards inquiry, scientific argumentation, and laboratory skill development. Students today are being taught, not only how to understand scientific concepts, but how to apply them to their own questions and ideas. Scientific reasoning is the act of deriving meaning and importance from evidence or a set of data. This allows students to solve problems using their own thinking and to answer their own questions as well as questions posed to them. Students are better able to understand concepts within the broader context of the scientific world as well as their own personal world, and further, students develop the capability of creating their own opinions, claims, and questions regarding a given topic. Laboratory activities were specifically selected due to their ability to demonstrate key concepts related to each topic as well as allowing students independent exploration. The CERR graphic organizer was put together in a way that maximized scientific writing support. It has been shown that scientific discourse in the classroom, when guided by the CERR framework, increased high-level thinking about the content and students made more profound connections within the material. The goal of these CERR graphic organizers is to scaffold students’ ability to create a well-developed and supported scientific argument. By the end of the curriculum, students should be able to create a claim, defend it in a well-reasoned manner, include supportive evidence, and relate the concept to the world around them.

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