ERIC Number: ED461513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
The Nature and Structure of Scientific Models. Working Paper.
Cartier, Jennifer; Rudolph, John; Stewart, Jim
This paper explores the nature and structure of scientific models by taking the position that representations are not models themselves. Representations of models are essential tools for communicating and conversing about the scientific models underlying them. A scientific model is considered to be a set of ideas that describe a natural process. A scientific model conceived in this way can be mentally run, given certain constraints, to explain or predict natural phenomena. It is in this way that scientific models are both desirable products of scientific research and useful as guides to future research. A discussion of some examples of scientific models and how they are used in scientific inquiry and instruction is provided. (DDR)
Descriptors: Epistemology, Higher Education, Knowledge Representation, Models, Science and Society, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Methodology, Scientific Principles
NCISLA, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-3605; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://wwww.wcer.wisc.edu/ncisla. For full text: http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/ncisla/publications/reports/Models. pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science.