Coletta Phillips Savinainen Steinert - EJP 2008

Comment on 'The effects of students' reasoning abilities on conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills in introductory mechanics'
2008 Eur. J. Phys. 29 L25-L27

Vincent P Coletta, Jeffrey A Phillips, Antti Savinainen and Jeffrey J Steinert

In a recent article, Ates and Cataloglu (2007 Eur. J. Phys. 28 1161–71), in analysing results for a course in introductory mechanics for prospective science teachers, found no statistically significant correlation between students' pre-instruction scores on the Lawson classroom test of scientific reasoning ability (CTSR) and post-instruction scores on the force concept inventory (FCI). As a possible explanation, the authors suggest that the FCI does not probe for skills required to determine reasoning abilities. Our previously published research directly contradicts the authors' finding. We summarize our research and present a likely explanation for their observation of no correlation.