The following are the summaries for Week 4 reading selections:
Modeling Instruction: An Effective Model for Science Education by Jane Jackson, Larry Dukerich, and David Hestenes
- This reading gave a description of a modeling program that can be used in science classrooms and outlined a program (modeling instruction) that has proved successful when used in different classroom settings.
- Modeling Instruction works by allowing for inquiry-based learning with application to everyday life and environment.
- The paper does detail that in order for the program to be successful, teachers must be instructed on the basis of model learning. This can be done by providing teachers with workshops that allows for them to understand how to create environments and conditions for model instruction to occur.
- Data generated by the Force Concept Inventory (looking at normalized gain in classrooms that provided model instruction over a period of time) showed that students had an increase in the knowledge obtained when assessed. This data supports effectiveness of model instruction.
What Kind of Explanation Is a Model? By Richard Lehrer and Leona Schauble
- This reading speaks on the importance of modeling and how representational repertoire (a component of modeling) has grown over the years, from inscriptions to the use of math.
- The paper also speaks on how modeling can be seen as both a “…indirect and unfamiliar genre of reasoning…”.
- Even though this may be true, the authors do offer ways to avoid this from occurring in the classroom:
- Arrange the conditions for seeing
- Invent measures
- Develop representational competence
- Develop an epistemology of modeling
- The paper concludes with an insightful overview of a classroom setting of a teacher using modeling to investigate aquatic systems.
Reconsidering the Role of Experiment in Science Education By Richard Lehrer, Leona Schauble, and
- This reading discusses how teachers should move away from using experiments as the only focal point in science education.
- Rhetoric, representation, and modeling should be incorporated if experimental designs should be used.
- Reading also draws from other sources that look at how different science educators used all four aspects in order to teach different scientific concepts.
- Using the two examples of a first grade class studying decomposition and a third grade class studying plant growth with a mathematical premise gave contextual support for thesis of reading.
As a science educator, it is important that we challenge our students to always think beyond the scope of knowledge that is provided in a basic lecture. These three readings really explain the concept of model instruction and it can be instrumental in stretching students’ knowledge content. It also can be extremely useful in giving real-time applications to scientific concepts in an inquiry format.
Questions that arose for me were:
- Is modeling more effective in a tangible environment or would virtual labs be sufficient?
- How do you successfully foster modeling instruction for students with learning disabilities?