A Layered Approach to Scientific Models: Creating Scaffolds That Allow All Students to Show More of What They Know

Kelsie Fowler, Mark Windschitl, Claus Auning

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


Each year, an increasing number of science teachers integrate modeling into their instructional repertoires, and in the process, they see how this disciplinary practice helps students reason and revise their thinking about complex events in the natural world. The NGSS Science and Engineering Practice of developing and using models is intended to serve as a sense-making process that helps students predict and explain phenomenon, makes their thinking visible as well as shareable in the classroom, and allows them to monitor their own progress toward deep understanding of a set of ideas. Research confirms numerous positive effects on student learning through modeling and its companion practice, explanation. In this article the authors outline a three-layer approach to designing model templates that support students' efforts to draw and explain. The authors start with suggestions for how to phrase the essential questions students are responding to so that the purpose of their modeling is more focused and explicit. Then they explore different types of base pictorial layouts that become the foundational layer for the models. Finally, the authors provide a range of "explanatory elements" that teachers or students can integrate in their models to communicate a more robust explanation. Having worked with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students using a wide variety of model templates, the objective is to share some insights in hopes it will support teachers' efforts to design templates and, in turn, support other educators' students' reasoning and modeling skills.
TidsskriftScience Teacher
Udgave nummersep-okt 2020
Sider (fra-til)24-26
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2020