Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 215–232 | Cite as

New Pedagogies on Teaching Science with Computer Simulations

  • Samia Khan


Teaching science with computer simulations is a complex undertaking. This case study examines how an experienced science teacher taught chemistry using computer simulations and the impact of his teaching on his students. Classroom observations over 3 semesters, teacher interviews, and student surveys were collected. The data was analyzed for (1) patterns in teacher-student-computer interactions, and (2) the outcome of these interactions on student learning. Using Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) as a theoretical framework, analysis of the data indicates that computer simulations were employed in a unique instructional cycle across 11 topics in the science curriculum and that several teacher-developed heuristics were important to guiding the pedagogical approach. The teacher followed a pattern of “generate-evaluate-modify” (GEM) to teach chemistry, and simulation technology (T) was integrated in every stage of GEM (or T-GEM). Analysis of the student survey suggested that engagement with T-GEM enhanced conceptual understanding of chemistry. The author postulates the affordances of computer simulations and suggests T-GEM and its heuristics as an effective and viable pedagogy for teaching science with technology.


Teacher Pedagogy Computers Computer simulations Science education TPACK TPCK 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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