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ERIC Number: EJ1152795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
EISSN: N/A
Diagnosing Students' Understanding of the Nature of Models
Gogolin, Sarah; Krüger, Dirk
Research in Science Education, v47 n5 p1127-1149 Oct 2017
Students' understanding of models in science has been subject to a number of investigations. The instruments the researchers used are suitable for educational research but, due to their complexity, cannot be employed directly by teachers. This article presents forced choice (FC) tasks, which, assembled as a diagnostic instrument, are supposed to measure students' understanding of the nature of models efficiently, while being sensitive enough to detect differences between individuals. In order to evaluate if the diagnostic instrument is suitable for its intended use, we propose an approach that complies with the demand to integrate students' responses to the tasks into the validation process. Evidence for validity was gathered based on relations to other variables and on students' response processes. Students' understanding of the nature of models was assessed using three methods: FC tasks, open-ended tasks and interviews (N = 448). Furthermore, concurrent think-aloud protocols (N = 30) were performed. The results suggest that the method and the age of the students have an effect on their understanding of the nature of models. A good understanding of the FC tasks as well as a convergence in the findings across the three methods was documented for grades eleven and twelve. This indicates that teachers can use the diagnostic instrument for an efficient and, at the same time, valid diagnosis for this group. Finally, the findings of this article may provide a possible explanation for alternative findings from previous studies as a result of specific methods that were used.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A