DEVELOPING EXPLANATORY MODELS OF MAGNETIC PHENOMENA THROUGH MODEL-BASED INQUIRY

Meng-Fei Cheng, Jang-Long Lin, Ying-Chi Chang, Hsiao-Wen Li, Tsung-Yu Wu, Deng-Min Lin
2014 Journal of Baltic Science Education  
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 reflection 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
more » ... 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, the 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 self-develop scientific models of magnetism as opposed to rote learning. Key words: explanatory models, magnetism, modeling, scientific inquiry, undergraduate students.
doi:10.33225/jbse/14.13.351 fatcat:3xovqlm42bhrnilf576cd5irby