How do teachers support students’ using and building models using computer-based material?



Jane Lee, Joseph Krajcik
The purpose of this study is to investigate how teacher support students in building models using computer-based material and how the technology affects their teaching practice. For this study, we selected two teachers and focused on their instructional moves in one of their science classes. We analyzed video data focusing on verbal interactions of teachers with students that can be connected to various aspects of scientific practices or metamodeling knowledge during the developing (constructing and revising) models to explain scientific phenomena. We found that it was critical to help students link the interpretation of simulation data to the phenomena that they saw and apply these ideas to build or revise models. Using the technology, teachers could check students’ models in real-time and use them to lead class discussion. From the class discussions, students supported one model over another by using evidence and revisited their previous model. We found that engaging students in modeling can support students in the practice of building and revising modeling and in scientific practices such as argumentation, using ideas to explain phenomena and the sharing of ideas.



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