Probing the Relation between Students' Integrated Knowledge and Knowledge-in-Use about Energy using Network Analysis

Marcus Kubsch, Jeffrey Nordine, Knut Neumann, David Fortus, Joseph Krajcik
2019 Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education  
Modern science standards emphasize knowledge-in-use, i.e., connecting scientific practices with content. For knowledge to become usable in knowledge-in-use performances, students need well organized knowledge networks that allow them to activate and connect sets of relevant ideas across contexts, i.e. students need integrated knowledge. We conducted a longitudinal interview study with 30 students in a 7 th grade energy unit and used network analysis to investigate students' integrated
more » ... ntegrated knowledge, i.e., their knowledge networks. Linking these results with results from knowledge-in-use assessments, we found a strong connection between integrated knowledge and knowledge-in-use about energy. Further, we found evidence that wellconnected ideas around the idea of energy transfer were particularly helpful for using energy ideas in the knowledge-in-use assessments. We present network analysis as a valuable extension of existing approaches to investigating students' knowledge networks and the connection between them and knowledge-in-use. Keywords: energy, integrated knowledge, knowledge-in-use, network analysis Kubsch et al. / Students' Integrated Knowledge and Knowledge-in-Use 2 / 20 demonstrate knowledge-in-use, i.e., connecting scientific practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross-cutting concepts to interpret and explain real world phenomena (Harris et al., 2016). Existing measures of students' knowledge networks have either provided quantitative information about the extent to which students have organized knowledge networks (e.g., Lee & Liu, 2010) or qualitative information about how students organize their knowledge networks (Won et al., 2017) . Neither approach has linked their results to knowledge-in-use in the sense of connecting practices, content, and cross-cutting concepts. In consequence, the relationship between students' knowledge-in-use and integrated knowledge in a domain is only little researched. We present a network analytical approach that provides qualitative and quantitative information about students' integrated knowledge, i.e., how students activate and connect ideas, and explore connections between quantitative network measures and knowledge-in-use. This study is part of a broader project on the teaching and learning of energy in middle school. As students usually hold a wide range of ideas about energy, the energy concept provides an excellent venue to explore how network analysis can help to investigate students' knowledge networks and their relationship to students' ability to demonstrate knowledge-in-use. Because the knowledge-in-use assessments used in this study have been described in depth elsewhere , we only revisit them relatively quickly.
doi:10.29333/ejmste/104404 fatcat:3y7bkjdxovabjkahh6zjkqzk6i