Hatzikiriakou Metallidou - IJSME 2007

Teaching Deductive Reasoning to Pre-service Teachers: Promises and Constraints
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education

Kostas Hatzikiriakou and Panayiota Metallidou
Elementary Education, University of Thessaly, Argonafton & Filellinon, Volos, 38221, Greece
Kostas Hatzikiriakou
Email: kxatzkyr@uth.gr

Received: 22 June 2006 Accepted: 13 November 2007 Published online: 25 December 2007

This paper broadly addresses the question of whether university students whose major does not require expertise in logic can improve their ability in deductive reasoning by taking an introductory course in logic. In particular, our study aims to evaluate a course in deductive logic offered by one of the authors in a department of elementary education. Two experiments were conducted by using a pretest-posttest design with an experimental and a control group as well as a follow-up test after 6 months on the experimental group. The results of the analyses showed that the course mainly succeeded in strengthening students’ general logical ability in the experimental group and these gains were retained 6 months later in the follow-up test. Promises and constraints of the study are discussed in the educational context.

Key words arguments - deductive reasoning - logical thinking - pre-service teachers - tableau method - truth tables - Venn diagrams

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