Quantitative Reasoning Learning Progression

By Robert Mayes

Georgina Southern University

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The NSF Pathways Project focused on developing learning progressions for environmental sceince on the 6-12 grade levels. Pathways explored how students on middle to high school grade bands developed the necessary understandings to be environmentally literate citizens. The project was a collaboartive consisting of 7 universities, 4 Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, and partner school districts. The outcomes of the project were an environmental literacy learning progression with three progress variables (biodiversity, carbon cycle, and water cycle), teaching experiments, and assessments.  In addition to the primay thrust on science, the project also explored quantitative reasoning in the context of environmental literacy. The QR research team conducted QR interviews, developed a QR assessment, collected data and conducted Rasch analysis to inform a QR learning progression. The results of this work have been published in three articles, with a fourth article appearing in July.  The Pathways QR research has focused on basic quantitative abilities with which middle and high school students struggle. I believe that many lower division college students have similar struggles with basic QR applied in biology.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mayes, Robert L.; Forrester, Jennifer; Schuttlefield Christus, Jennifer; Peterson, Franziska; and Walker, Rachel (2014) "Quantitative Reasoning Learning Progression: The Matrix," Numeracy: Vol. 7: Iss. 2, Article 5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.7.2.5 Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol7/iss2/art International Journal of Science Education (2013): Quantitative Reasoning in Environmental Science: A learning progression, International Journal of Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2013.819534