This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Teaching Science Thinking: Examining the Effect of Daily Science Thinking on Post-Secondary Students




Brenneman, Mark

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


This dissertation examines the effect of science journal writing on student scientific thinking skills in one private Christian university in the southeastern United States. The participants’ scientific thinking skills were measured using the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) assessment. This study was designed to encourage scientific thinking outside the classroom setting in an everyday context about scientific content. The journal assignment encouraged students to observe, ask questions, experiment, reason, collect data, and draw conclusions based on evidence. Participants were enrolled in a science course during the fall semester. The participants were identified as science or non-science majors, as well as journalers and non-journalers. There was an overall significant difference in LCTSR scores at the end of the semester; journaler participants scored higher than non-journaler participants when there was no difference between the two groups at the beginning of the semester. Finally, the participants had an overall positive view of the assignment. Completing the journal assignment may have had a positive impact on scientific thinking skills.