ERIC Number: ED446904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Assessment of Explanatory Models in Genetics: Insights into Students' Conceptions of Scientific Models. Research Report.
Past research in a high school genetics classroom has shown that groups of students solving computer-generated genetics problems differed in their application of assessment criteria to the tentative models they generated, and that consistent application of certain model-assessment criteria correlated with success in proposing adequate explanatory models. This paper describes a study in which classroom instruction in one high school class was focused on four specific model-assessment criteria: two involving fit between data and model, and two involving conceptual consistency, or fit within the model itself or between it and other models of scientific knowledge. Individual students' use of those assessment criteria during two round of model-revising problem solving was monitored and analyzed. All students were able to assess models based on empirical fit, but despite explicit instruction on their use, students did not consistently apply the conceptual assessment criteria to their models. This paper discusses the implications of these results on the use of modeling as an approach to teach students about the structure of scientific knowledge and the nature of science as a modeling activity. (Contains 19 references.) (Author)
Descriptors: Concept Formation, Evaluation, Genetics, High Schools, Instructional Effectiveness, Models, Problem Solving, Science Education, Scientific Methodology, Scientific Principles, Teaching Methods
National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; phone: 608-263-3605; e-mail: email@example.com. For full text: http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/ncisla
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science.