A competence-oriented approach to models and modelling in lower secondary science education: practices and rationales among Danish teachers

Sanne Schnell Nielsen, Jan Alexis Nielsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


A new science curriculum, with a significant emphasis on modelling, was recently adopted in Danish lower secondary education. The theoretical and political intentions behind the new curriculum include substantial changes to how teachers should address models and modelling in their practice. The purpose of this study is to analyse the alignment between the intentions and arguments for integrating models and modelling into science education, on the one hand, and teachers’ practices and rationales for integrating models and modelling into their teaching practice, on the other. First, this study outlines a theoretical competence-oriented modelling framework. This framework describes what kind of knowledge and practice of models and modelling needs to be integrated into teaching to accomplish a competence-oriented approach in this regard. Second, against the background of this framework, we conducted an empirical study of three teacher-teams’ talk about modelling and their practice of integrating models and modelling in their teaching. Our findings suggest that the participating teachers’ practices and rationales for integrating models and modelling into their teaching are characterised by a product-oriented approach that is not well aligned with competence-oriented teaching. Finally, we provide ideas for improving the alignment between theoretical intentions and teachers’ practice, targeted at science educators and curriculum designers.
TidsskriftResearch in Science Education
Antal sider29
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning