Developing explanatory models of magnetic phenomena through modelbased inquiry

Meng Fei Cheng, Jang Long Lin, Ying Chi Chang, Hsiao Wen Li, Tsung Yu Wu, Deng Min Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to bridge the gap between how scientists practice and how students learn science. To achieve this, an innovative student-centered curriculum was designed to teach 42 undergraduate students. The program involved scaffolding activities, an interactive computer simulation, and refl ection on scientific modeling criteria to address the students’ difficulties in reasoning at the microscopic level and the scientific evaluation of their models during their development of an explanatory model of magnetism. To address the students’ difficulties in reasoning at the microscopic level and the scientific evaluation of their models during their development of an explanatory model of magnetism, t he program involved scaffolding activities, an interactive computer simulation, and reflection on scientific modeling criteria. The results of the study indicated that more than half the students developed scientific and coherent microscopic N-S dipole models to explain observed magnetic phenomena, and students’ understanding of the nature of models was significantly enhanced after the instruction. This study contributes to modeling theory and the methods that can help students selfdevelop scientific models of magnetism as opposed to rote learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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