ERIC Number: EJ1217222
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Disentangling the Role of Domain-Specific Knowledge in Student Modeling
Ruppert, John; Duncan, Ravit Golan; Chinn, Clark A.
Research in Science Education, v49 n3 p921-948 Jun 2019
This study explores the role of domain-specific knowledge in students' modeling practice and how this knowledge interacts with two domain-general modeling strategies: use of evidence and developing a causal mechanism. We analyzed models made by middle school students who had a year of intensive model-based instruction. These models were made to explain a familiar but unstudied biological phenomenon: late onset muscle pain. Students were provided with three pieces of evidence related to this phenomenon and asked to construct a model to account for this evidence. Findings indicate that domain-specific resources play a significant role in the extent to which the models accounted for provided evidence. On the other hand, familiarity with the situation appeared to contribute to the mechanistic character of models. Our results indicate that modeling strategies alone are insufficient for the development of a mechanistic model that accounts for provided evidence and that, while learners can develop a tentative model with a basic familiarity of the situation, scaffolding certain domain-specific knowledge is necessary to assist students with incorporating evidence in modeling tasks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0529582