Design Approaches to Support Preservice Teachers in Scientific Modeling

Journal of Science Teacher Education 01/2011; 22(1):1-21. DOI: 10.1007/s10972-010-9225-9


Engaging children in scientific practices is hard for beginning teachers. One such scientific practice with which beginning
teachers may have limited experience is scientific modeling. We have iteratively designed preservice teacher learning experiences
and materials intended to help teachers achieve learning goals associated with scientific modeling. Our work has taken place
across multiple years at three university sites, with preservice teachers focused on early childhood, elementary, and middle
school teaching. Based on results from our empirical studies supporting these design decisions, we discuss design features
of our modeling instruction in each iteration. Our results suggest some successes in supporting preservice teachers in engaging
students in modeling practice. We propose design principles that can guide science teacher educators in incorporating modeling
in teacher education.

KeywordsPreservice elementary and middle school teachers–Scientific modeling–Science methods course development

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    • "Engaging preservice and inservice teachers in professional development, structured classroom experiences making the processes of modeling explicit, and/or contact with experts may support their ability and/or confidence to scaffold students' scientific modeling in the classroom (Berland et al., in press; Justi & Gilbert, 2003; Windschitl & Thompson , 2006). With preservice teachers this includes creating and scaffolding specific modeling experiences which allow student-teachers to explicitly learn about and engage with modeling through activities and reflection that support their eventual implementation of scientific modeling in the classroom (Schwarz, 2009; Crawford & Cullin, 2004; Danusso et al., 2010; Kenyon et al., 2011; Windschitl et al., 2008). "
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    International Journal of Science Education 10/2015; 37(15). DOI:10.1080/09500693.2015.1080880 · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The design and development of the MbL activity sequence, the coordination of its implementation, as well as, the support/ guidance and strategies needed for such an implementation lay primarily within the teacher's role. The teacher's effectiveness in addressing each one of the aforementioned areas of MbL contribution depends upon his understanding of the role of models and modeling in science learning (Akerson et al. 2009; Danusso, Testa, and Vicentini 2010; Davis 2011; Justi and van Driel 2005; Windschitl, Thompson, and Braaten 2008). As a result, much of the research in this area summarized below, has focused on teachers' views of models and the process of modeling in science learning and teaching. "
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    ABSTRACT: Models and modeling are considered integral parts of scientific literacy, reflecting educators’ efforts to introduce and engage students in authentic scientific inquiry through Modeling-based Learning (MbL) approaches in science. Over the years research has developed a considerable amount of knowledge concerning MbL. Our purpose in this paper was to review this research in order to systematize the knowledge accumulated and to provide an overview of what needs to be investigated further. We also took into account and describe the role of the teacher as part of the review. Our review shows that MbL has made cognitive, metacognitive, social, material and epistemological contributions in science education. Furthermore, it reveals that important information is still missing in order to ensure effective implementations of MbL. Future research needs to focus on investigating the learning processes which take place during MbL which result in improvements in student conceptual and epistemological understanding and abilities for scientific inquiry.
    Educational Review 11/2011; 2011(4-1–22). DOI:10.1080/00131911.2011.628748 · 0.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the beliefs and rationale pre-service elementary teachers used to choose activities for upper-elementary students in a 1-week intensive science camp. Six undergraduate elementary pre-service teachers were observed as they took a semester-long science methods class that culminated in a 1-week science camp. This qualitative, phenomenological study found that counselors chose activities with the possibility of fun being a priority rather than teaching content, even after they were confronted with campers who demanded more content. Additionally, all six of the counselors agreed that activities involving variable manipulation were the most successful, even though content knowledge was not required to complete the activities. The counselors felt the variable manipulation activities were successful because students were constructing products and therefore getting to the end of the activity. Implications include building an awareness of the complexity of self-efficacy of science teaching and outcome expectancy to improve teacher education programs.
    Journal of Science Teacher Education 02/2012; 24(1). DOI:10.1007/s10972-012-9269-0
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