Scientific Reasoning and Citizen Science: Enabling students and adults to become scientifically literate citizens of tomorrow’s society

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Dokumentart: Dissertation
Date: 2023-05-31
Language: English
Faculty: 7 Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
Advisor: Randler, Christoph (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2021-06-10
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
370 - Education
Keywords: Schlussfolgern , Citizen Science , Außerschulische Bildung , Vogelbeobachtung
Other Keywords: forschungsbasiertes Lernen
Citizen Science
Scientific Reasoning
out-of-school learning
inquiry-based learning
License: Publishing license including print on demand
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Dissertation ist gesperrt bis zum 31.05.2023 !!


Scientific reasoning is an important core competency needed to successfully participate in today's and tomorrow's society (Osborne, 2013). Therefore, it is essential that students are prepared for these requirements and taught scientific reasoning skills during their school years (National Research Council, 2012). However, because scientific reasoning requires specific training, in Study 1 of this dissertation project a new method is presented, in which project participation in a Citizen Science project is integrated into a teaching unit that also combines theoretical approaches of inquiry-based learning, situated cognition within an authentic learning context, and out-of-school learning. During this teaching unit, students authentically adopt the role of a scientist. Results show that participation in a Citizen Science project leads to increased improvements in scientific reasoning compared to an inquiry-based learning unit without participation in a Citizen Science project. No group differences were found regarding factual knowledge and motivation. In addition, the second study presented in this dissertation project examines the relationship between scientific reasoning and participation in a Citizen Science project in adults in order to be able to obtain a differentiated picture of this connection. In this study, adults either received a high level of guidance as part of their participation in the Citizen Science project or participated in the Citizen Science project on their own, without further guidance. The results do not show any superiority of the group that received a lot of guidance concerning scientific reasoning or in a factual knowledge test. The results of these two studies indicate that participation in a Citizen Science project offers the opportunity to promote scientific reasoning. However, to be promising, this requires integration of the Citizen Science project into a larger teaching unit. Other ways in which project participation could be more beneficial for adults, as well as the practicality of the Citizen Science approach, are discussed, along with opportunities for future research and implications for use in practice.

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