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Training Scientific Thinking: Effect of an Intervention on Argentinian Adolescents’ Critical Thinking Skills

Martina Boscolo

  • Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires,
  • Argentina
  • Martina Boscolo ¹
  • , Melina Furman ²𝄒³
  • , Lorena Rela ⁴
  • , Pedro Bekinschtein ⁵
  • , Rodrigo Laje ²𝄒⁶
  • , Andrea P. Goldin ¹𝄒²
  • 1 Laboratorio de Neurociencia, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  • 2 Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Ministry of Science, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 3 Escuela de Educación, Universidad de San Andrés.
  • 4 Instituto de Fisiología y Biofísica Bernardo Houssay, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET.
  • 5 Laboratorio de Neurociencia y Sociedad, Instituto de Neurociencia Cognitiva yTraslacional, CONICET, Fundación INECO, Universidad Favaloro.
  • 6 Laboratorio de Dinámica Sensomotora, Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología,Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Bernal, Argentina.

Scientific or critical thinking is an intentional cognitive process of knowledge application which consists of using evidence to revise an existing theory, and constitutes a very important part of inquiry-based learning. This type of reasoning, associated with executive functions and prefrontal and temporal areas, is considered an essential skill for the 21st century citizen. Evidence suggests that it can be improved through specific training, and that, under certain circumstances, it is possible to transfer its learning to different domains in everyday life. We designed an instrument to test scientific thinking skills and we used it to evaluate 290 argentinian adolescents’ responses before and after attending a scientific camp organized by the NGO Expedición Ciencia.
Keywords: scientific thinking, critical reasoning, transfer, training, adolescence