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ERIC Number: EJ914059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
In Defense of Chi's Ontological Incompatibility Hypothesis
Slotta, James D.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v20 n1 p151-162 2011
This article responds to an article by A. Gupta, D. Hammer, and E. F. Redish (2010) that asserts that M. T. H. Chi's (1992, 2005) hypothesis of an "ontological commitment" in conceptual development is fundamentally flawed. In this article, I argue that Chi's theoretical perspective is still very much intact and that the critique offered by Gupta et al. is itself based on a flawed interpretation of Chi's theory. The purpose of this article is to address that misconception of Chi's work and to clarify her overall theoretical perspective. I begin by reviewing Chi's theory of ontological commitments, making an important comment about her position on the nature of expert conceptualizations. I review the methodological approaches used by J. D. Slotta and M. T. H. Chi (2006) to measure ontological commitments and comment on the instructional implications of Chi's theory. I then address the misconception held by Gupta et al. about Chi's work and call for more empirical research to tease apart the differences between Chi's view of "parallel ontologies" and Gupta et al.'s view of "flexible ontologies." (Contains 4 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A