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The Effect of Cognitive Style on the Proportional Reasoning Ability of Secondary School Physics Students

Oluwatobi Samson Adegboyega



The study investigated the effect of cognitive style on the proportion reasoning ability of secondary school Physics students. The study identified some of the factors contributing to students difficulties in Physics tasks requiring proportional reasoning skill and finding appropriate intervention strategies. One hundred students from selected public secondary school in Ilesa West Local Government constituted the sample for the study. Three research instruments were used for the study; proportional reasoning test (PRT), group embedded figure test (GEFT) and Physics (proportional reasoning) achievement test (PAT). The data were analysed using T – test and Chi – square statistical techniques. The result showed that ratio types used in Physics tasks have no effect on students’ proportional reasoning ability. The result also showed that field independent students were also capable of reasoning proportionally than the field dependent students when faced with proportional reasoning task. The result of the finding also showed that cognitive style depends on the students’ proportional reasoning. In conclusion, the students having attained the age of formal reasoning could reason proportionally with respect to the tasks and setting under which students were operating. The implications of this finding were discussed with a view to improving the performance of students in Physics.


Keywords: cognitive style, proportional reasoning, physics, students

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