The Role of CLEAR Thinking in Learning Science from Multiple-Document Inquiry Tasks

Thomas D. GRIFFIN, Jennifer WILEY , M. Anne BRITT, Carlos R. SALAS


The main goal for the current study was to investigate whether individual differences in domain-general thinking dispositions might affect learning from multiple-document inquiry tasks in science. Middle school students were given a set of documents and were tasked with understanding how and why recent patterns in global temperature might be different from what has been observed in the past from those documents. Understanding was assessed with two measures: an essay task and an inference verification task. Domain-general thinking dispositions were assessed with a Commitment to Logic, Evidence, and Reasoning (CLEAR) thinking scale. The measures of understanding were uniquely predicted by both reading skills and CLEAR thinking scores, and these effects were not attributable to prior knowledge or interest. The results suggest independent roles for thinking dispositions and reading ability when students read to learn from multiple-document inquiry tasks in science.


Thinking Dispositions, Learning From Text, Climate Change, Earth Science, Multiple-Document Inquiry Tasks.

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic EU Education Programs
Pages 63 - 78
Issue IEJEE, Volume 5, Issue 1, Special Issue Learning and Instruction in the Natural Sciences
Date of acceptance 01 October 2012
Read (times) 486
Downloaded (times) 225

Author(s) Details


University of Illinois at Chicago, United States

Jennifer WILEY

University of Illinois at Chicago, United States


Northern Illinois University, United States

Carlos R. SALAS

University of Illinois at Chicago, United States


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