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Prof. Dr. Frank Fischer

"Scientific Reasoning and Argumentation": Prof. Dr. Frank Fischer, Katharina Engelmann, M.Sc., Dr. Andreas Hetmanek and Dipl.-Psych. Ansgar Opitz. (Psychology)

Academic Year 2015/16

Frank Fischer, along with three junior researchers, will address the following questions at CAS in the context of scientific reasoning and argumentation:

  1. What knowledge, skills and individual characteristics (general cognitive skills, motivation, attitudes, convictions etc.) are of central importance for success in scientific reasoning and argumentation and which domain-specific particularities can be identified?
  2. How can competences in scientific reasoning and argumentation be measured in a reliable and valid way?
  3. What conditions are necessary for effective interventions to facilitate scientific reasoning and argumentation in higher education? To what extent are these approaches evident both within and across individual subject-domains?

Working Group

The work group led by Frank Fischer during his time at CAS includes Katharina Engelmann, M.Sc., Dr. Andreas Hetmanek and Dipl.-Psych. Ansgar Opitz:

  • Katharina Engelmann explores the promotion of competences central to scientific reasoning and argumentation in higher education. She is working on a meta-analysis on this topic and is developing an approach for the promotion of scientific reasoning and argumentation. Effects of this approach will be tested in an intervention study with university students.
  • Ansgar Opitz is focusing his work on the analysis of tests concerning scientific reasoning and argumentation in terms of both content and statistics. Applying methods from the probabilistic test theory, he will investigate existing tests in order to establish the extent to which they are valid both within and across individual subject-domains. For this purpose, he will collect data from students of various subjects including the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.
  • Andreas Hetmanek holds a double qualification in philosophy and education. He is developing and testing approaches with which data can be prepared and evaluated for the purpose of evidence-based decision-making and argumentation based on theories from philosophy of science. He uses data collected in the context of the priority program ”Modeling and Measering Competences in Higher Education” funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The main goal is to examine the utility of Bayes and Ranking Theory-based methods for the empirical investigation of competences in scientific reasoning and argumentation.

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