Middle school students‟ reasoning patterns and comprehensions about pseudoscientific applications related to crystals

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2015
Metin, Duygu
The purpose of this study was to discover and describe reasoning patterns that middle school students use while they reflect their understandings about pseudoscientific issues. Specifically, the aim was to reveal middle school students’ comprehensions about aim, process, and justification of pseudoscientific applications related to crystals, and reliability, certainty, and scientific status of knowledge that derived from these pseudoscientific applications. This study was qualitative in nature. Basic interpretive qualitative approach was used as a research design. Seven girls and seven boys (8th graders, 14 years-old) who lived and went to school in rural areas, had basic skills in science, and were able to express themselves clearly participated in the study. Data were collected through individual interviews. The students were provided pseudoscientific claims and pseudoscientific scenarios. They were questioned on claims and scenarios and probed by further questions according to their responses. Thus interviews were semi-structured. The results indicated that the eighth grade middle school students participated in this study were very gullible in terms of aim, process, and justification of pseudoscientific applications related to crystals, and reliability, certainty, and scientific status of pseudoscientific knowledge related to crystals. When the students reasoned about given pseudoscientific claims and research designs about crystals and crystal healing in terms of given aspects, they generally used weak reasoning patterns that were closer to that of pseudoscientists.
Citation Formats
D. Metin, “Middle school students‟ reasoning patterns and comprehensions about pseudoscientific applications related to crystals,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.