Science teachers' knowledge about and attitudes towards the use of models and modelling in learning science

  • Justi R
  • Gilbert J
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A semi-structured interview was used to enquire into the knowledge of models and modelling held by a total sample of 39 Brazilian science teachers working in 'fundamental' (ages 6-14 years) and 'medium' (ages 15-17 years) schools, student teachers, and university teachers. This paper focuses on their perceptions of the role of models in science teaching. The teachers' ideas are organized in three groups: the status and value of models; the influences that inform the translation of these general ideas into classroom practice; and how them respond to the outcomes of students' modelling activities. The teachers interviewed generally showed an awareness of the value of models in the learning of science but not of their Value in learning about science. They were also uncertain of the relationship that could exist in the classroom between various types of models. Modelling, as an activity by Students, whilst praised in theory, should not seem to be widely practised. Where practised, the outcomes are by no means always treated with that integrity that learning about science would call for.

Author-supplied keywords

  • analogies
  • education
  • mental models
  • search
  • students

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  • R S Justi

  • J K Gilbert

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