A comparative study about Learning progression of ecological systemic reasoning for lower elementary students

Project Overview

The purpose of this study is to construct a learning progression for elementary students about their reasoning in ecology in general and about their feedback loop reasoning specifically. My motivation is to understand if the culture makes a difference in students’ reasoning. This is why this study is a comparative study between students in the US and those in Lebanon. I have conducted previous work in a mid-western suburban school in the US. However the following question was lingering: how would the learning progression change if it were conducted in a different culture? In previous work, I have constructed a learning progression for ecological systemic reasoning and feedback loop reasoning for lower elementary students in an American Sub-urban context (Hokayem 2012; Hokayem & Gotwals under review; Hokayem et al. in press). One of the major questions that remained was: how would the learning progression look like when cultural differences are taken into consideration? So far, learning progression research has been developed in the United States and Europe, but there are no studies about learning progression in other countries, particularly in countries where students learn science in a language other than their native language (e.g. Lebanon). The significance of this comparative research is that it will use cross-cultural data and compare learning progression in different cultures in an attempt to come up with a refined learning progression that takes into account cultural differences.

Research Team