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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST2C60:

Students' Ability in Constructing Formal Logical Reasoning
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 6:00 PM -6:45 PM
  Author: Shaona Zhou, South China Normal University
614-292-2450 , zhou.shaona@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): Hua Xiao , Jing Han , Kathy Koenig , Lei Bao
  Abstract: While students seem to easily pick up the valid variables in a context of multi-variable situations, they often have difficulty in constructing the correct logical relations between variables and outcomes. This research investigated students' understanding about two kinds of logical thinking involving conditional relations. We found that students' reasoning in situations involving necessary conditions outperformed their reasoning involving sufficient conditions. Results from students at different grade levels showed steady improvement with age on picking the correct variables, while their logical thinking had no obvious changes. The results suggest that logical thinking is a higher level scientific reasoning ability that doesn't fully develop through our current education which emphasizes content knowledge.
  Footnotes: **Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
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