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Table 1 The Hypothesis of Learning Progression of Scientific Explanation based on the PTDR Framework

From: Towards a hypothetical learning progression of scientific explanation

Components Lower Level Upper Level
Phenomenon Affirming and describing the phenomenon. [The phenomenon is clear; it has single variable or has a few variables but their relationship is simple; the changing pattern is conform to everyday experience.] Abstracting and representing the phenomenon.
[The phenomenon needs processing from real context. It has several variables and their relationship is complex; the changing pattern may not conform to everyday experience.]
Theory Applying scientific ideas, law-like sentences, etc. under the scaffold from teacher or instructional materials. Using the key variable as the clue for independently selecting scientific concepts, laws, theories and principles. Independently selecting the scientific concepts, laws, theories, and principles by systematically analyzing the context.
Data Searching data in a small data set. Searching data in a big data set. Defining the data set.
Data set is limited to appropriate data Data set includes both appropriate/inappropriate data/non-related data set
Data set is ready for directly processing Data is collected by directly observation, measurement, etc. Data is collected by indirectly observation, measurement, etc.
Reasoning Making basic logical connection between idea, data, and phenomenon, though generalization, induction, or simple causal reasoning. Developing a causal chain or clarifying the mechanism that connecting phenomenon, evidence, and theory, though scientific reasoning including isolation and control of variables, correlational reasoning, probabilistic reasoning, etc. Designing a unification model that connecting phenomenon, evidence, and theory, though scientific reasoning including but not limited to isolation and control of variables, combinatorial reasoning, probabilistic reasoning, hypothetical-deductive reasoning, etc.