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ERIC Number: EJ774447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Common Characteristics of Models in Present-Day Scientific Practice
Van Der Valk, Ton; Van Driel, Jan H.; De Vos, Wobbe
Research in Science Education, v37 n4 p469-488 Oct 2007
Teaching the use of models in scientific research requires a description, in general terms, of how scientists actually use models in their research activities. This paper aims to arrive at defining common characteristics of models that are used in present-day scientific research. Initially, a list of common features of models and modelling, based on the literature was compiled. Next, a questionnaire was developed, which consisted of 10 statements with which the common features of models were probed. A sample of 77 research papers from "hard science" journals was drawn. The questionnaire was sent to the first author of the selected articles. The useful response was 24 (31%). From an analysis of the results, it was concluded that the consulted scientists more or less agreed with the initial list of common features of models and modelling. However, some characteristics were perceived differently by the respondents, or formulated in different terms. This has led us to revise some of the features in our list. It is recommended that in science curricula and science text books, more attention should be paid to modern uses of models (e.g., in the context of computer simulation and technological design), and that aspects of the nature of models (e.g., the relation between model and target, and possible limitations of a model), which are underexposed in education, are addressed more explicitly. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A