ERIC Number: EJ1176368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Investigating the Impacts of Targeted Professional Development around Models and Modeling on Teachers' Instructional Practice and Student Learning
Miller, Alison R.; Kastens, Kim A.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v55 n5 p641-663 May 2018
Developing understanding of models and proficiency with modeling practice is challenging for both teachers and students. This 2-year study first investigated existing instructional strategies employed by teachers while teaching Earth and Space Science with dynamic physical models. Summer professional development introduced a conceptual framework, based on analogical reasoning, to help students strengthen and deepen the connections they make between a model and its real-world referent. The framework draws explicit attention to correspondences and non-correspondences between model and referent, an often overlooked component of modeling practice which underpins the ability to evaluate and thus improve a model. Teachers were guided to reflect on their own instructional use of models and to plan for integrating specific instructional strategies around models into their Year 2 practice. Classroom observation data reveal that from Years 1 to 2, teachers shifted from a more didactic approach in which they used physical models primarily as tools for demonstration toward more student engagement with models as problem-solving tools. On an assessment measuring their students' ability to reason with and about models, pre-post learning gains were higher in Year 2 than Year 1 across "students" at all ability levels. Together, these findings present evidence that teachers can learn to guide their students toward using physical models in ways that approximate key aspects of how scientists use runnable models, as envisioned by the Developing and Using Models practice of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Descriptors: Faculty Development, Models, Teaching Methods, Academic Achievement, Educational Strategies, Science Teachers, Science Instruction, Teacher Student Relationship, Observation, Earth Science, Space Sciences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0909982; 0909863; 1338311