Graphing and estimation as tools to improve critical thinking in high school chemistry students
Pelliccia, Chris A.
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High school conceptual chemistry students engaged in daily estimation activities and frequent in-class graphing to practice mathematical reasoning, argumentation, and visual analysis. Students applied those skills by regularly creating and analyzing graphs using both real-world and lab-generated data sets. Self-confidence surveys, performance assessments, and presentations were used as data collection instruments. Data were processed using quantitative and qualitative analysis strategies. The results suggested that students improved their abilities to create and interpret graphs using mathematical reasoning and visual analysis, key components of critical thinking. Interview data suggests no overall change in student attitude towards the utility of graphs as a means of conveying information.