The Developing Scientist as Craftsperson

  • Michael Eisenberg
  • Ann Eisenberg
Part of the Modeling Dynamic Systems book series (MDS)


Increasingly, the day-to-day practice of science education is pervaded by the presence of computational media. Simulations, modeling tools, and virtual laboratories have become the stock in trade of the up-to-date science educator. As a consequence, the young scientist is a person who, more and more, spends a large proportion of his or her time in abstract and nonphysical “worlds.” This move toward an increasingly virtualized science education has important benefits for some scientific domains and for some activities: Perhaps only through the simulation of especially complex systems can the student get a sense of how such systems are capable of behaving. Moreover, the real, physical world constrains us as human beings—and it may constrain our scientific imaginations as well. We cannot easily experience the frictionless environments that would make many principles of Newtonian mechanics more intuitive (Chapter 10; White and Horwitz, 1987; diSessa, 1982); we do not grasp the behavior of objects moving at speeds near that of light (Horwitz, 1994); we do not see firsthand the evolution of ecosystems, a phenomenon perhaps best understood at a time scale of millennia (Dawkins, 1996). In all these cases, the building and studying of virtual worlds, simulations, and abstract models may be a crucial step in the education of the scientist.


Computational Element Hexagonal Prism Embed Computation Computational Medium Wearable Computing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Eisenberg
  • Ann Eisenberg

There are no affiliations available

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