ERIC Number: EJ1130659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Aligning Coordination Class Theory with a New Context: Applying a Theory of Individual Learning to Group Learning
Barth-Cohen, Lauren A.; Wittmann, Michael C.
Science Education, v101 n2 p333-363 Mar 2017
This article presents an empirical analysis of conceptual difficulties encountered and ways students made progress in learning at both individual and group levels in a classroom environment in which the students used an embodied modeling activity to make sense of a specific scientific scenario. The theoretical framework, coordination class theory, has primarily been used to capture individual learning in interview settings, and here it is applied to analytically capture both individual and group learning in a complex classroom environment. Classrooms of ninth-grade earth science students used the position of their bodies to model a specific scientific concept, the steady-state energy of the earth. The students encountered difficulties aligning their understanding of the scientific concept with the models. Subsequently, they changed their models in specific ways that better aligned their understanding of the scientific concept with their newly modified model. The theory is utilized to describe learning by both individuals and the group in this classroom environment and shows how a single student's contribution can dramatically affect the model and subsequent learning. Implications suggest new ways in which the theory may be useful for designing learning environments.
Descriptors: Grade 9, Earth Science, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Energy, Human Body, Concept Formation, Models, Group Activities, Independent Study
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0962805; 1222580