ERIC Number: ED303375
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Promoting Changes in Children's Predictive Rules about Natural Phenomena: The Role of Computer-Based Modelling Strategies. Technical Report.
Trying to change the predictive rule for the sinking and floating phenomena, students have a great difficulty in understanding density and they are insensitive to empirical counter-examples designed to challenge their own rule. The purpose of this study is to examine the process whereby students from sixth and seventh grades relinquish their predictive rule in the face of counter-examples and to examine two variables that might affect their interpretation of counter-examples: the use of a computer simulation as conceptual referent, and prior awareness of an alternative concept of density. Two computer programs, "Weight and Density" and "Sink the Raft," were used as the treatment materials. Results show two main effects from the two variables. However, none of the differences in the groups remained by a posttest administered six to seven weeks after the experimental sessions. Appendices include 13 figures; 35 tables; scripts for introduction, model guided observation, and observation without the computer model; outline of treatments; a paper and pencil test; and scoring criteria. (YP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Technology Center, Cambridge, MA.