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ERIC Number: EJ1078052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Fostering Third-Grade Students' Use of Scientific Models with the Water Cycle: Elementary Teachers' Conceptions and Practices
Vo, Tina; Forbes, Cory T.; Zangori, Laura; Schwarz, Christina V.
International Journal of Science Education, v37 n15 p2411-2432 2015
Elementary teachers play a crucial role in supporting and scaffolding students' model-based reasoning about natural phenomena, particularly complex systems such as the water cycle. However, little research exists to inform efforts in supporting elementary teachers' learning to foster model-centered, science learning environments. To address this need, we conducted an exploratory multiple-case study using qualitative research methods to investigate six 3rd-grade teachers' pedagogical reasoning and classroom instruction around modeling practices ("construct," "use," "evaluate", and "revise") and epistemic considerations of scientific modeling ("generality/abstraction," "evidence," "mechanism", and "audience"). Study findings show that all teachers emphasized a subset of modeling practices--"construction" and "use"--and the epistemic consideration of "generality/abstraction". There was observable consistency between teachers' articulated conceptions of scientific modeling and their classroom practices. Results also show a subset of the teachers more strongly emphasized additional epistemic considerations and, as a result, better supported students to use models as sense-making tools as well as representations. These findings provide important evidence for developing elementary teacher supports to scaffold students' engagement in scientific modeling.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: pDRL-1443223