Teacher Conceptions and Approaches Associated with an Immersive Instructional Implementation of Computer-Based Models and Assessment in a Secondary Chemistry Classroom

Noemi Waight, Xiufeng Liu, Roberto Ma Gregorius, Erica Smith, Mihwa Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reports on a case study of an immersive and integrated multi-instructional approach (namely computer-based model introduction and connection with content; facilitation of individual student exploration guided by exploratory worksheet; use of associated differentiated labs and use of model-based assessments) in the implementation of coupled computer-based models and assessment in a high-school chemistry classroom. Data collection included in-depth teacher interviews, classroom observations, student interviews and researcher notes. Teacher conceptions highlighted the role of models as tools; the benefits of abstract portrayal via visualizations; appropriate enactment of model implementation; concerns with student learning and issues with time. The case study revealed numerous challenges reconciling macro, submicro and symbolic phenomena with the NetLogo model. Nonetheless, the effort exhibited by the teacher provided a platform to support the evolution of practice over time. Students' reactions reflected a continuum of confusion and benefits which were directly related to their background knowledge and experiences with instructional modes. The findings have implications for the role of teacher knowledge of models, the modeling process and pedagogical content knowledge; the continuum of student knowledge as novice users and the role of visual literacy in model decoding, comprehension and translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-505
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Chemistry education
  • Model-based learning
  • Teacher knowledge

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