Relationship between scientific reasoning skills and mathematics achievement among Malaysian students

Nor’ain Mohd. Tajudin, Mohan Chinnappan


The role of reasoning in mathematical performance is a continuing topic of interest for researchers in mathematics
education. This present study explored the link between scientific reasoning skills and mathematics performance as
measured by students’ responses to a series of novel problems. Results indicated the existence of a moderate
positive correlation between the two variables. All participating students exhibited low levels of scientific reasoning.
Despite this, students in the high-achievement group performed significantly better than their peers in the lowachievement
group in the mathematics test. The results suggest that while scientific reasoning is necessary, these set
of skills may not fully explain the kind of reasoning that underpins mathematical problem solving among
Malaysian secondary students. We draw implications for instructions to support the development and use of
reasoning in mathematical learning in Malaysian classrooms.

Keywords: gender, knowledge transfer, Malaysian classrooms, mathematics problem solving, scientific reasoning
skills, secondary mathematics

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