Hypothesis testing in science: group consensus and the acquisition of conceptual and procedural knowledge
Learning and Instruction Volume 10, Number 4 ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Hypothesis testing has been seen by science educators as a context which supports the integrated acquisition of conceptual and procedural knowledge. However, research suggests potential conflicts between the conditions conducive to conceptual growth and those conducive to procedural. The study reported here with 9- to 12-year old pupils endorses this, but suggests that the problems can be overcome given tasks where pupils: (a) debate their conceptual knowledge and reach consensus; (b) subject their consensual positions to guided experimental appraisal and draw conclusions from what transpires. It is argued that the demonstrated role of consensus has consequences not just for educational practice but also for psychological theories of development and learning.
Howe, C., Tolmie, A., Duchak-Tanner, V. & Rattray, C. Hypothesis testing in science: group consensus and the acquisition of conceptual and procedural knowledge. Learning and Instruction, 10(4), 361-391. Elsevier Ltd.