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ERIC Number: ED596343
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
Relational Scaffolding Enhances Children's Understanding of Scientific Models
Jee, Benjamin D.; Anggoro, Florencia K.
Grantee Submission
Models are central to the practice and teaching of science. Yet people often fail to grasp how scientific models explain their observations of the world. Realizing the explanatory power of a model may require aligning its relational structure to that of the observable phenomena. The present research tested whether "relational scaffolding"--guided comparisons between observable and modeled events--enhances children's understanding of scientific models. We tested relational scaffolding during instruction about the day-night cycle, a topic that involves relating "Earth-based" observations to a "space-based" model of Earth rotation. Experiment 1 found that 3rd graders (N = 108) learned more from instruction that incorporated relational scaffolding. Experiment 2 (N = 99) found that guided comparison--not merely viewing observable and modeled events--is a critical component of relational scaffolding, especially for children with low initial knowledge. Relational scaffolding could be applied broadly to assist the many students who struggle with science. [This is the in press version of an article to be published in "Psychological Science."]
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A150228
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations