ERIC Number: EJ1071549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Empirical Validation of Integrated Learning Performances for Hydrologic Phenomena: 3rd-Grade Students' Model-Driven Explanation-Construction
Forbes, Cory T.; Zangori, Laura; Schwarz, Christina V.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v52 n7 p895-921 Sep 2015
Water is a crucial topic that spans the K-12 science curriculum, including the elementary grades. Students should engage in the articulation, negotiation, and revision of model-based explanations about hydrologic phenomena. However, past research has shown that students, particularly early learners, often struggle to understand hydrologic phenomena and that scientific modeling remains underemphasized in elementary science learning environments. More research is, therefore, needed to understand and promote early learners' engagement in domain-specific modeling practices. To address this need, we are engaged in design-based research to foster and investigate 3rd-grade students' model-based explanations for the water cycle. Here, we report on the development of a set of empirically based learning performances that integrate core discipline-specific concepts and the practice of scientific modeling. This framework (i) grounds the iterative adaptation and enhancement of a commonly used curricular unit focused on water and (ii) lays the foundation for ongoing development of an associated learning progression that spans K-12 grades. Second, we report on findings from research investigating 3rd-grade students' model-based explanations within the context of the water cycle. Results illustrate epistemic features of mechanism-based causal claims elementary students generate and highlight both target concepts and modeling practices emphasized in students' model-based explanations for hydrologic cycling.
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Elementary School Students, Grade 3, Water, Earth Science, Science Process Skills, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation, Causal Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL-1443223; DRL-1020316