Research on Scientific Reasoning and Argumentation
By focusing on scientific reasoning and argumentation (SRA), the International Doctorate Program REASON addresses a topic of high relevance to the educational practice, in a society where the ability to evaluate and use scientific evidence has become increasingly important for professional as well as private decisions and actions. Universities in particular are expected to foster such abilities. In this context, research in REASON focuses on the analysis and the promotion of these competencies, under the assumption of scientific models that define SRA as a problem-solving process.
The interdisciplinary profile of the REASON school fosters research on SRA from the perspective of different fields of study and subdisciplines (e.g., developmental psychology, learning sciences, social work, mathematics), allowing investigations of the SRA construct to take several forms. Such research foci include, but are not limited to: precursors of SRA in preschool-aged children, conditional reasoning among elementary-school students, individual differences at the level instructional scaffolds, fallacies in reasoning, sources of misconceptions regarding the justification of claims, statistical inference-making, and evidence-based practice in relation to educators as well as practitioners. Some overarching questions that bridge all these areas of research include pinpointing which aspects of SRA are domain-specific and which are domain-general, and how these skills can be optimally fostered.