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Commentary: A Framework for Supporting Learning and Teaching About Mathematical and Scientific Models

Commentary: A Framework for Supporting Learning and Teaching About Mathematical and Scientific Models

It was with great interest that I recently read Using Technology to Support Prospective Science Teachers in Learning and Teaching About Scientific Models (Cullin & Crawford, 2003). This article presented a convincing argument that the role of models and modeling in science education represented an important and often neglected aspect of investigative science in the classroom. Specifically, the paper presented efforts to engage preservice secondary science teachers participating in a methods course and teaching practicum in modeling experiences ultimately brought to the fore by building and testing dynamic computer models. While the results were mixed, there was a demonstrated shift in the preservice teachers' views of model use from a teacher-centered use for explaining concepts to a student-centered approach using models to learn about natural phenomena. This article presents a framework for thinking about the use of models and model-based curriculum in K-12 settings. In doing so, it draws from the work of two colleagues, Leona Schauble and Richard Lehrer, as well as research we conducted together while I was a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Wisconsin and my subsequent...

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