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Title: Expertise and Spatial Reasoning in Advanced Scientific Problem Solving
Authors: Stieff, Mike
Raje, Sonali
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.
Citation: Stieff, M. & Raje, S. (2008). Expertise and Spatial Reasoning in Advanced Scientific Problem Solving. In Kanselaar, G., Jonker, V., Kirschner, P. A., & Prins, F. J. (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008, Volumes 2 (pp. 366-373). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Visualization and other forms of spatial cognition are considered fundamental to learning and problem solving in science. This assumption is especially prevalent in organic chemistry where imagistic reasoning is considered to be a primary cognitive activity. While previous research has shown that students are aware of several analytical heuristics and imagistic strategies for problem solving, there have been no studies exploring how experts in organic chemistry approach problem solving. Here, we identify problem solving strategies employed by ten chemistry experts to solve undergraduate organic chemistry assessment tasks. Our findings suggest that experts employ a range of imagistic and analytical strategies for reasoning about spatial information and prefer, on average, to use analytical strategies.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2008

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