Clark Chinn is an associate professor of educational psychology at Rutgers University. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working with Richard Anderson and William Brewer. He is the current Editor of the journal Educational Psychologist. His research focuses on reasoning and argumentation, epistemic practices and epistemic cognition, conceptual change, and collaborative learning. In one line of current research, he is working with Ravit Golan Duncan on a grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate methods of scaffolding the growth of scientific reasoning and content understanding among middle-school science students during model-based inquiry. In a second, closely related line of research, he is exploring new ways of conceptualizing epistemic cognition, drawing on philosophical work to suggest new avenues for empirical research.
In work with Ravit Golan Duncan, Clark Chinn and Luke Buckland are developing a model-based inquiry unit on evolution for seventh graders. This unit includes a strong focus on macroevolution as well as microevolution. Students will develop and choose among different evolutionary models on the basis of scientific evidence that they learn about by reading adapted scientific research reports and by carrying out simulations on computers. We expect to implement this curriculum in the spring of 2012.
Chinn, C. A., & Buckland, L. A. (2011). Differences in epistemic practices among scientists, young earth creationists, intelligent design creationists, and the scientist creationists of Darwin’s era. In R. Taylor and M. Ferrari (Eds.), Epistemology and science education: Understanding the evolution vs. intelligent design controversy (pp. 38-76). New York: Taylor & Francis.
Chinn, C. A., & Brewer, W. F. (2000). Knowledge change in response to data in science, religion, and magic. In K. S. Rosengren, C. N. Johnson, & P. L. Harris (Eds.), Imagining the impossible: Magical, scientific, and religious thinking in children (pp. 334-371). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.