ERIC Number: ED464842
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Using Model-Centered Science Instruction To Foster Students' Epistemologies in Learning with Models.
Schwarz, Christina V.
In this paper, two studies are discussed--one conducted with seventh-grade science students and the other with undergraduate pre-service elementary teachers--using model-centered science curricula and instruction. In both studies, these students experienced model-centered teaching within a 12-14 week curricula in which they used, created and evaluated models and reflected on the nature of models within either force or motion or astronomy topics. In the seventh-grade study, students' epistemologies about the nature of models with written assessments and clinical interviews were investigated and evidence that modeling knowledge (epistemological understanding of models) was significantly correlated with improvement in content knowledge was found. Through analysis of classroom videotapes, notes, and student journals in both studies, several useful contexts for promoting modeling knowledge was also found. These contexts included engaging students in using well-designed computer-simulated dynamic models that can be useful for solving relevant problems, using and creating physical and conceptual models, reflecting on the nature of models, and evaluating models with model-specific criteria. The two different studies also indicate that different contexts and model-use elicited different epistemological views about models from the students. The seventh-grade students thought of models as abstract, more or less equivalent in value to one another, and useful for testing/exploring their own theories. The pre-service teachers thought of models as concrete/visual representations more or less valuable depending on their accuracy and limitations, and useful for visualizing phenomena and learning the correct scientific knowledge for teaching their future students. (Contains 28 references.) (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).