Advertisement

ENGAGING FIFTH GRADERS IN SCIENTIFIC MODELING TO LEARN ABOUT EVAPORATION AND CONDENSATION

  • Hayat Hokayem
  • Christina Schwarz
Article

ABSTRACT

Reform efforts in science education have aimed at fostering scientific literacy by helping learners meaningfully engage in scientific practices to make sense of the world. In this paper, we report on our second year of unit implementation that has investigated 34 fifth grade students’ (10-year-olds) learning about evaporation and condensation through scientific modeling in the USA. We discuss how students who engaged in modeling constructed explanations of evaporation and condensation, considered empirical evidence when constructing their models, and used models to predict other phenomena. We constructed a coding scheme based on an iterative process and qualitatively analyzed assessment items, interview questions, and classroom videos in order to find out what students learned through modeling. The results of our empirical work indicate that students made significant progress in constructing models that convey unobservable characteristics of molecular mechanisms or processes. They also made progress in using models as tools consistent with evidence and using models to predict other phenomena, but the progress was to a less sophisticated level. We theorize that some aspects of modeling practice are more aligned with typical school norms and practices than others—enabling some aspects to be more readily appropriated than others. We conclude the manuscript with ways to capitalize on the successes of this practice and to address challenges that could be taken to help improve students’ understanding of science through engagement in scientific modeling.

KEY WORDS

condensation evaporation modeling scientific practice 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

10763_2012_9395_MOESM1_ESM.docx (55 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 54 kb)

REFERENCES

  1. Abd-El-Khalick, F., BouJaoude, S., Duschl, R., Lederman, N. G., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Hofstein, A., et al (2004). Inquiry in science education: International perspectives. Science Education, 88(3), 397–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acher, A., Arcà, M. & Sanmartí, N. (2007). Modeling as a teaching learning process for understanding materials: A case study in primary education. Science Education, 91(3), 398–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baek, H., Schwarz, C., Chen, J., Hokayem, H. & Zhan, L. (2011). Engaging elementary students in scientific modeling: The MoDeLS 5th grade approach and findings. In M. S. Khine & I. M. Saleh (Eds.), Dynamic modeling: Cognitive tool for scientific enquiry. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Bamberger, Y. & Davis, E. (2011). Middle school science students’ scientific modeling performances across content areas and within a learning progression. International Journal of Science Education, iFirstArticle, 1–26.Google Scholar
  5. Berland, L. K. & Reiser, B. J. (2009). Making sense of argumentation and explanation. Science Education, 93(1), 26–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buckley, B. (2000). Interactive multimedia and model-based learning in biology. International Journal of Science Education, 22, 895–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cartier, J. & Stewart, J. (2000). Teaching the nature of inquiry: Further developments in a High School Genetics program. Science Education, 9, 247–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, J., Hokayem, H. & Schwarz, C. (2009). Investigating the relationship between scientific modeling and content knowledge: A study of 5th graders’ learning of evaporation and condensation through scientific modeling. Poster presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Garden Grove, CA.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, L. & Manion, L. (2000). Research methods in education (5th ed.). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coll, R., France, B. & Taylor, I. (2005). The role of models/and analogies in science education: Implications from research. International Journal of Science Education, 27(2), 183–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gee, J. P. (1990). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Gotwals, A. (2012). Learning progressions for multiple purposes. In A. Alonzo & A. Gotwals (Eds.), Learning progressions in science (pp. 462–472). Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  13. Halloun, I. (2006). Modeling theory in science education. Dordrecht, the Netherland: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Hogan, K., Nastasi, B. & Pressley, M. (1999). Discourse patterns and collaborative scientific reasoning in peer and teacher-guided discussions. Cognition and Instruction, 17(4), 379–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson, P. (1998). Children’s understanding of changes of state involving the gas state. Evaporation and condensation below boiling point. International Journal of Science Education, 20, 695–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Johnson, S. & Stewart, J. (2002). Revising and assessing explanatory models in a high school genetics class. Science Education, 86, 463–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lehrer, R. & Schauble, L. (2010). What kind of explanation is a model? In M. K. Stein & L. Kucan (Eds.), Instructional explanations in the disciplines (pp. 9–22). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Miles, M. & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. National Research Council [NRC] (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K–8. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  21. Novick, S. & Nussbaum, J. (1978). Junior high school pupils’ understanding of the particular nature of matter: An interview study. Science Education, 62(3), 273–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Osborne, R. & Cosgrove, M. (1983). Children’s conceptions of the changes of the state of water. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 825–838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Posner, G., Strike, K., Hewson, P. & Gertzog, W. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66(2), 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sandoval, W. A. (2003). Conceptual and epistemic aspects of students’ scientific explanations. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 12(1), 5–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schwarz, C. & Gwekwere, Y. (2007). Using a guided inquiry and modeling instructional framework (EIMA) to support preservice K–8 science teaching. Science Education, 91(1), 158–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schwarz, C., Reiser, B., Davis, B., Kenyon, L., Acher, A., Fortus, D., Scwhartz, Y., Hug, B. & Kraj-cik, J. (2009). Designing a learning progression of scientific modeling: Making scientific modeling accessible and meaningful for learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 632–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schwarz, C. & White, B. Y. (2005). Meta-modeling knowledge: Developing students’ understanding of scientific modeling. Cognition and Instruction, 23(2), 165–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Treagust, D., Chittleborough, G. & Mamiala, T. (2002). Students’ understanding of the role of scientific models in learning science. International Journal of Science Education, 24(4), 357–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tytler, R. (2000). A comparison of year 1 and year 6 students’ conceptions of evaporation and condensation: Dimensions of conceptual progression. International Journal of Science Education, 22, 447–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Van Driel, J. & Verloop, N. (2007). The change of science teachers’ personal knowledge about teaching models and modeling in the context of science education reform. International Journal of Science Education, 29(15), 1819–1846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Windschitl, M. & Thompson, J. (2006). Transcending simple forms of school science investigations: Can pre-service instruction foster teachers’ understandings of model-based inquiry? American Educational Research Journal, 43(4), 783–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations